Advertising legend Jerry Della Femina calls Ad Women "a sweeping, insightful, encyclopedic treatment that not only enables us to understand women's role in advertising but also makes a social commentary on the role of advertising in our culture...a primer on advertising that will be a welcome addition to any library collection on the topic. And it should be a must-read in any advertising class in the world." Read his Forbes.com review here.
“[A] sweeping history of women's role in American advertising from the late 19th century to the present day… compelling."
Wall Street Journal
"With numerous illustrations and photographs, this thoroughly-researched and well-written history of the evolution of women in advertising will appeal to those in the field and those interested in the women's movement."
Publishers Weekly (Web Exclusive)
“Ad Women offers a compelling narrative of twentieth-century advertising and American consumer society and business, told through the experiences of women as producers and consumers in shaping modern American culture. Its rich use of anecdotes, biographies, and popular culture brings to life American society and middle-class mores, and shows how women shaped who we are today.”
David M. Katzman, Professor of American Studies and History, University of Kansas
Author of Seven Days a Week and coauthor of Plain Folk,
Three Generations in Twentieth-Century America, and A People and a Nation
"Smart. Engaging. Insightful. This is a fascinating study of the struggles and victories of the women who helped shape our consumer-driven culture. By telling the stories of advertising women, Sivulka helps readers understand the societal changes that have taken place in American culture. This is a must read for historians, sociologists, marketing communications professionals, and consumers alike."
Bonnie Drewniany, Associate Professor of Advertising, University of South Carolina
Coauthor of Creative Strategy in Advertising
Most of the workers in advertising, the media, retail, and fashion are women. Holding key marketing and advertising positions, women shape the basic promotional appeal of almost every consumer product in America.
How did the advertising business go from a handful of women in a man’s world to women working in virtually every mass consumer goods industry in America in the space of the twentieth century? Ad Women tells the story of how women have risen to the top of the advertising profession.
Juliann Sivulka, a former marketing communications manager and now an advertising educator, describes how, at the beginning of the twentieth century, the recognition of women as primary consumers resulted in the hiring of more women to promote products aimed at the women’s market. At that time manufacturers began to emphasize color, fashion, and style, while advertising embraced a new language of persuasion aimed at women consumers. Soon agencies were recruiting an ensemble of businesswomen—copywriters, product designers, merchandisers, fashion and beauty experts, home economists, editors, and publicists. Through close collaboration with manufacturers, mass media, and retailers, they participated in developing strategies to convince women to buy goods and wove their selling messages into women’s reading, shopping, housework, and leisure activities.
Sivulka follows three key periods in the history of American advertising, which represent eras of major social change for women (1880-1920, the 1920s, and the 1970s). She discusses the effect on advertising of such controversial issues as the women’s movement, minorities, and consumer activism, and devotes an entire chapter to the contributions to advertising of African American, Hispanic, and Asian American women in the twentieth century.
Copiously illustrated with portraits of early ad women and examples of their work, this thoroughly researched and engagingly written survey of women in advertising will fascinate marketing students, women’s studies scholars, and everyday consumers.
Page Count: 415
Shipping Weight: 2lbs
Juliann Sivulka, Ph.D.(Tokyo, Japan) is the author of Stronger Than Dirt: A Cultural History of Advertising Personal Hygiene in America, 1890 to 1940 and Soap, Sex, and Cigarettes: A Cultural History of American Advertising. She lives in Tokyo, Japan, where she is a professor of advertising and American studies at the School of International Liberal Studies of Waseda University.