History of Advertising

Our industry has a rich history. Explore some of its most notable moments here.

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Insights from 4A’s Research | Sonic Branding Comes in With a Ping

Research Services

Sonic branding uses audio cues to reinforce brand identity. Learn about the most memorable sonic brands and best practices to create a winning audio logo for your client.

Advertising Pays 7: UK Advertising’s Digital Revolution |

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In this seventh edition of their Ad Pays series, the Advertising Association reveals the growth and scale of the UK online ad market across the globe over the last 25 years. See how advertising has benefited the economy, small businesses, employment, and more.

Evolution of the Advertising Agency Business

Statista created this Giant Chart exclusively for the 4A’s to illustrate changes in the ad agency industry, including agency revenue, growth in employment, and share of ad expenditure by medium.

Insights from 4A’s Research | Where the Agency Jobs Are

Marsha Appel, SVP, 4A’s Research uses her expertise in government data to examine the most current employment data for advertising, marketing, and public relations firms to rank the top cities for agency employment. Reasons behind changes in rankings, impact of the recession, and a look towards the future of agency employment are included in this article

Defining Moments in Agency History | Decade of Agency Mergers, the Foreign Invasion, and the Rise of Holding Companies

Discover why the 1980s saw a transformation of the agency landscape in a dizzying frenzy of mergers.

Defining Moments in Agency History | The Bankruptcy that Changed Agency Media Relations Forever and the Demise of Sole Liability

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Learn how one agency’s bankruptcy changed the entire client-agency-media ecosystem.

Defining Moments in Agency History | Of Sex and Ice Cubes: The Great Subliminal Advertising Scare

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Read about the myth of subliminal advertising and what the 4A’s did to combat it.

Defining Moments in Agency History | Madison Avenue: Place or Mindset?

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Find out why Madison Avenue had long been synonymous with the advertising agency business in this piece from Marsha Appel, SVP Research Services.

Defining Moments in Agency History | The Worst Agency Receptionist Job EVER

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Become the most interesting person at your next agency happy hour by reading this short history of agency names from Marsha Appel, SVP Research Services.

Defining Moments in Agency History | Agencies Join the Ticker Tape Parade

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Learn about the big decade of agency IPOs in this piece from Marsha Appel, SVP Research Services.

Defining Moments in Agency History | Birth of the RFP

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Learn the history behind the RFP in this piece written by Marsha Appel, SVP Research Services.

Defining Moments in Agency History | Evolution of Media Unbundling |

4A’s Research is launching a new series focusing on defining moments in agency history. This introductory piece highlights the factors that gave rise to the media agencies of today.

What Killed the Jingle?

Third Party Content

There’s been a serious decline in commercial jingles over the past few years. What’s behind it?

See It & Be It: Ad Agencies Need Young Talent

4A's Member

The young and the creative have been the engine driving advertising agencies for decades. But those who once joined this business with dreams of making the next standout television commercial are no longer drawn to the industry in the same way. Some view advertising as stodgy—who wants to make a 30-second TV commercial when everyone they know is […]