MIT 2000 Reading Summaries: Johnston and Robinson

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Western University
Media, Information and Technoculture
Media, Information and Technoculture 2000F/G
Daniel Robinson

October 6, 2011 Reading Summaries “Newspapers,Advertising, and the Rise ofAgency, 1850-1900” Russell Johnston This reading describes the rise of full-service advertising agencies in the late 1800’s and how this affected newspapers. Revenue for newspapers became all about advertising where it had once been about subscriptions. People had more disposable income to spend on products that were not necessary to them, and advertising took full advantage of that. To satisfy demand for new advertising, newspapers would upgrade from weeklies or tri-weeklies to dailies – not because there was more news to report.At this time advertisers had to do a lot of the work themselves, and rates were confusing and definitely not standardized.Agencies saw an opportunity to help advertisers out by doing a lot of the work for them and making a profit off of it. Advertising agents served the advertisers over the publishers of newspapers because it was the advertiser who gave the agency the contract, not the publisher. Business men had different ways of going about selling advertising; there were the ‘space jobbers’who bought a ton of newspaper ‘white space’and then sold it to advertisers at a discounted price (153); he made a profit because he originally got a discounted price from the publisher for buying in bulk. Then there wasAnson McKim who started the first independent advertising agency; he enabled advertisers to place their ads in areas outside of the big cities like toronto buy holding contracts with several papers at once. However other independent agencies could only survive once the volume of advertising increased which allowed the independent agencies to stay afloat. Full-service agencies came about with J.J Gibbons, who brought copy and art departments to Canada from the United States. These agencies did all the design and marketing work for the advertiser, plus they found the best places for the client to place their ads by employing researchers, space-buyers, and checkers. These full-service agencies enabled a consistency in theme to come about with a client’s products because everything involving the marketing of the product was done in one place. There were some freelan
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