The Revolutionary Impact of the First Advertising Agency

James Jem White founded the advertising agency 'R. White & Son' at Warwick Square, London, United Kingdom in 1800. The business of selling newspaper space for advertisements was far from a novel idea in the 1840s. Beginning in 1704, American newspapers regularly published commercial and personal advertisements for a small fee.

The son of a journalistic businessman, Palmer was no stranger to this practice. As a child, he helped his father with the daily operations of collecting advertisements and publishing The New Jersey Mirror and Burlington County Advertiser, a small newspaper in Mount Holly, New Jersey. However, despite his record in the newspapers, Palmer pursued other efforts when he left the family business. In 1841, Palmer moved to Philadelphia and established a real estate office in the city. Between 1841 and 1842, Palmer expanded its business practices to include a coal office in an attempt to expand its clientele.

It is also at this time that we see the beginnings of the establishment of Palmer's advertising business. Under a description from Palmer's real estate and coal office in the 1842 edition of M'Elroy's Philadelphia Directory, it was Palmer's first description of his advertising practices; although Palmer's emergence as an official “advertising agent” was a slow and modest process, the impacts of his two practices and the establishment of their agency were far from subtle. As early as 1842, Palmer had a well-established client list, representing newspapers throughout Pennsylvania and Maryland, and extending to New Jersey, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee, and even Alabama. But Palmer didn't stop there. According to Holland, in 1849 “Volney B.

Palmer (Esq). Palmer's extensive following list was unknown at the time, as were the systematic methods he used to operate his agency. Palmer not only provided potential advertisers with space rates for each available publication, but he also presented them with a full production that organized each publication according to the target market and population. When necessary, Palmer advised advertisers on the right advertising copy, sculpting efficient works at no cost to the client. By serving as a well-informed liaison between publishers and advertisers, Palmer was able to charge publishers a commission (widely believed to be done on a 25 percent basis) while maintaining the repeat business of satisfied advertisers.

Overall, Palmer had a deep understanding of the advantages of his service, and “set out to show his customers how they could use this tool” to advertise judiciously, effectively and safely. In addition, advancements in transportation brought about by the expansion of the use of steam engines accelerated Palmer's business processes and encouraged the physical expansion of his practice. In 1845, Palmer opened a second branch of his agency in Boston before opening two more offices in New York and Baltimore soon after. Immediately after the Palmer agency purchase, Francis W. N.

W. Yesterday & Partners), “Yesterday pioneered the 'open contract', a revolutionary change in the advertising billing method that became the industry standard. It was also a pioneer in the use of fine art in advertising and established the industry's first art department. It was the first agency to use a full-time copywriter and the first to institute a copy department. Through the implementation of these revolutionary practices, N.

Ayer & Son created some of the best known and most recognized advertising campaigns to date. Among Advertising Age's 100 best advertising campaigns of all time, Ayer's agency ranks seven, with campaigns such as “A diamond is forever” for De Beers diamonds; “I know everything you can be” for U. S military; “When it rains it pours” for Morton Salt; and “I would walk a mile for a Camel” for Camel cigarettes. It was the establishment of Palmer's agency in Philadelphia in 1841 that made possible the creation of these timeless slogans, and it is that same agency that encouraged all the great campaigns known today. There have been only a limited number of innovations in history that can be attributed to the true shaping of the current state of the advertising industry; Gutenberg's invention of mobile types in 1447, as well as the right to press freedom established by the First Amendment are among the few.

However, while Palmer may never have fully realized or understood the impact of establishing his agency in the mid-1800s, this innovation is undoubtedly among the ranks of those mentioned above. What started as a side business set up for the purpose of turning a small profit turned into an advertising system like no other before. As a result, this unexpected and novel practice allowed Palmer to forever revolutionize how business is done in America. People have always posted ads or used visual devices to sell their services or products; excavations at Pompeii have revealed signs and evidence that merchants were advertising their products at that time. The advent of regularly published newspapers in 16th century provided an ideal vehicle for displaying collections of advertisements.

In 1729 Benjamin Franklin published Pennsylvania Gazette in Philadelphia with pages full of new announcements; by 1784 Pennsylvania Packet & Daily Advertiser - first successful American newspaper - starts its circulation in Philadelphia. Many posts banned advertising while others limited space to one column wide; however by 1870 there were more than 5 000 newspapers with advertising available - demand for advertising services was growing rapidly. The recorded images were customized for each client or selections were made from stock images (in world of typography they are called cuts). Black & white these with tone areas were main means of illustration in relief presses prior to photography & offset printing - each image was priced & inserted into text.

Many examples of these early devices are available for free or at low rates from Briar Press - strategy of early advertising was to convince buyer about quality. It was Volney B. Palmer who revolutionized advertising agencies, introducing open contracts & fine art into advertisement campaigns - he also pioneered use of full-time copywriters & copy departments - all these changes allowed N W Ayer & Son create some best known & most recognized campaigns like “A diamond is forever” for De Beers diamonds; “I know everything you can be” for U S military; “When it rains it pours” for Morton Salt; & “I would walk mile for Camel” for Camel cigarettes. Palmer's innovation has shaped modern advertising industry & will remain one most important inventions ever made.

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