Shari Graydon does an excellent job of explaining the principles of advertising - how it works, who it targets, and the history of it from ancient times to current practices. Explanations are broken up cartoon illustrations of the points being made, whether it is product placement in TV and movies or consumers complaining about offensive ads. Statistics about advertising are included and can make a big impression on readers. (Did you know that an estimated 40,000 TV commercials are seen by young people in North America each year? And that 10,000 of those are about food?) The text also relates advertising to familiar cultural icons such as Star Wars, Transformers, and Pepsi. Various types of ads like billboards, infomercials, Internet banner ads, spam e-mail, and merchandising tie-ins for movies are discussed. At the back of the book there is contact information for consumer organizations, ad resources, notes for each chapter, and an index. My favorite part is probably the "Don't try this at home" sections that have the reader try do things like count how many products are shown or mentioned within a single episode of a TV show.
I would recommend this to parents who are concerned about the influence of advertising on their families, to students who are interested in the media and possible careers in advertising, or teachers who are covering topics like author's purpose or persuasive writing. This would be an excellent text to include in economics or consumer education classes. NOTE - This book was originally released in 2003, but has been updated to cover the latest in marketing strategies using today's media outlets.
I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley, but it was published in paperback on July 4 , 2013.