The original contributions in this issue are sure to be of interest to a wide variety of readers in many disciplines. They cover important aspects of some of the most vital areas of concern for scholars interested in the relationship of advertising to society, culture, history, and the economy. The topics in this issue include American advertising history, global advertising, advertising and children, and research techniques.
Although A&SR has not yet published any letters from readers, I invite comments, reactions, and discussion that these articles may occasion. I believe that many readers would be interested in the reactions of others to the themes raised here. Thus, I invite readers to write letters to the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The article by Stole discusses the relationship between advertising and the American war effort during World War II. She shows how this difficult economic period for mass consumerism was turned into a publicity bonanza for the advertising industry and produced institutions that remain intact even today. It is the first of many original articles that report research on some aspect of advertising and society that I hope to publish in this journal.
The three interviews with advertising professionals will be of considerable interest to many kinds of readers. They touch on three important topics: global advertising, research methodologies, and advertising to children. Each of these topics is widely recognized as important, yet is under-researched and much remains unknown about each of them. Thus, these contributions help fill that void. Perhaps more important, however, is the dialogue that is created in each interview between a scholar and an advertising professional. Far too often, scholars have made undocumented assumptions and claims about advertising and how it works. Here is an opportunity to move beyond those assumptions and claims. In each interview, the scholar asks penetrating questions about the topic to the professional. The result is an informative discussion in each case that perhaps raises more questions than it answers, but which shows the value of such a dialogue. I hope it will be possible to publish many such interviews in future issues of this journal. Again, I welcome comments and suggestions from readers that can help us to sharpen and improve this technique. In addition, questions directed toward the interviewees may provide the basis for addenda in future issues to these interviews.
Finally, once again we have tried to take full advantage of the medium of an online journal whenever possible. Print ads and commercials are included whenever they are discussed and when they are available to us.
William M. O'Barr