Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: War-time advertising

Thursday, March 12, 2009

War-time advertising

Advertisement is considered to be one of the greatest inventions of the United States, that undoubtedly changed the whole world. The famous sociologist Andrew Hacker called advertisement 'the most important instrument in the country' (Hacker, 1997). In general, advertisement is considered to be a phenomenon of the 20th, century.

Having fought in the 1930's with the consumer movement, the advertisement industry saw new beginnings with the start of the Second World War. Due to the lack of products available on the consumer market, the government decided to the help of the advertisement industry. The setup of an advertisement agency, participation of government in the development of advertising companies, and other measures taken at this time, all helped in the creation of a successful PR campaign aimed at the formation of a stronger advertisement industry within the United States. The advertisement agency is considered the most successful instrument of this PR campaign, as with its help the advertisement industry was able to reduce its tax burden, create a positive image of it, and hide its deficiencies from the public, while as create a strong connection with both the politicians and the general public.

The work of the Advertisement companies during the years of the war helped in the creation of a patriotic image of the advertisement industry in the eyes of the populous. Thanks to the Advertisement Comity, the Second World War strengthened the position of the advertisement industry both in politics and in the hearts of the population.


Blogger A. Mattson said...

A good post.

Yes, the wartime partnership between the advertising industry and the OWI was mutually beneficial. Patriotism was good PR for an advertising industry that was looked upon with suspicion by many Americans. Advertisers were selling products, business, the war and advertising itself at the same time. Advertising as an altruistic public service medium serving the public interest during wartime rather than a band of manipulative hucksters.

3/18/2009 2:05 PM  

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