Advertising is telling other people that you have something you want to sell to them. When we say today that a person advertises, we mean he is paying someone else to publish (that is, “to make public”) the information that he has something to sell. There are many ways in which this information may be made public. The different ways are called media by advertising men. These may be printed announcements (“ads”) in newspapers and magazines; or spoken announcements (“commercials”) on radio and television broadcasts; or displays, such as billboards, electric signs, and posters; or direct mail, which means mailing a letter to the person you want to sell to; or souvenirs, such as matchbooks or calendars with the advertiser’s name on them; and many other media all the way up to skywriting.
Advertising is a big business in the United States. In a typical year in the 1950s, American businessmen spent more than 7 billion dollars advertising the things they had for sale. The biggest share of this-more than a third-was spent for “space” in newspapers. Another third of the 7 billion dollars was shared about equally by television, radio, and magazines. This means that each of these media received about 10% of all the money that was spent. Direct mail accounted for about 15%. The rest of the advertising money was split up among the many other media. Advertising is also an art. The best authors and artists combine their skills