Kirkus Reviews QR Code
CAUTION! THIS MAY BE AN ADVERTISEMENT by Kathlyn Gay

CAUTION! THIS MAY BE AN ADVERTISEMENT

A Teen Guide to Advertising

By Kathlyn Gay

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: April 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-531-11039-7

 Freelancer Gay (her many titles include Ozone, 1989) relates the history of ads, from criers and peddlers to the current bombardment. The historical background is fascinating (e.g., the red of a barber pole's signifies bloodletting, the original vocation) and helps put the pervasiveness of media advertising in perspective; interestingly, with visual appeals to less-literate consumers, we are returning to an earlier strategy. Defining ``advertising'' as ways to inform, sell, and promote, Gay runs an entertaining gamut: selling candidates and causes; using field marketing, packaging, and targeting; overcoming stereotypes (comparing old and new Aunt Jemimas); why we buy (from conformity to comfort); historic flops (New Coke) and hoaxes (Beech-Nut's shameful misleading of parents on juice content). Advice on negotiating trick come-ons, phony markdowns, doublespeak, and fine print will leave readers less likely to be hoodwinked--and with more self-knowledge. Extensive source notes; bibliography; index and b&w photo insert not seen. (Nonfiction. 12+)