A Word from Our Sponsor: Admen, Advertising, and the Golden by Cynthia Meyers

By Cynthia Meyers

throughout the “golden age” of radio, from approximately the past due Twenties until eventually the overdue Nineteen Forties, advertisements firms have been arguably an important resources of radio leisure. so much nationally broadcast courses on community radio have been created, produced, written, and/or controlled by means of ads firms: for instance, J. Walter Thompson produced “Kraft track corridor” for Kraft; Benton & Bowles oversaw “Show Boat” for Maxwell residence espresso; and younger & Rubicam controlled “Town corridor this night” with comic Fred Allen for Bristol-Myers. but this truth has disappeared from renowned reminiscence and gets little awareness from media students and historians. by way of repositioning the advertisements as a significant agent within the improvement of broadcasting, writer Cynthia B. Meyers demanding situations traditional perspectives in regards to the function of advertisements in tradition, the combination of media industries, and the position of commercialism in broadcasting history.

Based mostly on archival fabrics, A note from Our Sponsor mines enterprise files from the J. Walter Thompson papers at Duke collage, which come with employees assembly transcriptions, memos, and account histories; organisation documents of BBDO, Benton & Bowles, younger & Rubicam, and N. W. Ayer; contemporaneous exchange guides; and the voluminous correspondence among NBC and organization executives within the NBC files on the Wisconsin old Society.

Mediating among audiences’ wish for leisure and advertisers’ wish for revenues, admen mixed “showmanship” with “salesmanship” to supply a uniquely American type of advertisement tradition. In recounting the heritage of this manner, Meyers enriches and corrects our figuring out not just of broadcasting background but in addition of ads background, enterprise background, and American cultural background from the Twenties to the 1940s.

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