Political advertising in the United States, advertising in socialist China, and the origin in England of planning are the subjects of the original contributions in this issue. Each of these articles examines in its own way the context and practice of advertising.
For better or worse, advertising plays a major role in the American political process, especially at the state and national level. William Benoit's article examines the history of presidential campaign ads with regard to format and substance. The article is enhanced by several historical commercials that he has included along with this analysis and discussion.
Zhihong Gao's article on advertising in socialist China adds to the comparative study of advertising in other nations that A&SR seeks to encourage. As the world's most populous nation whose citizens purchasing power is on the rise, the role of advertising in China has global implications. This is Professor Gao's second article in Advertising & Society Review. Readers interested in Chinese advertising may also wish to consult The Future of Foreign Advertising in China: The Lessons of History, at http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/asr/v004/4.1gao.html.
Stephen King, whose career in advertising was spent at J. Walter Thompson in London, is one of the founders of the advertising practice known as planning. Its development marked a shift in how advertisers think about consumers, the way research is conducted and used, and how commercial success is evaluated. In the interview published here, King talks about how the idea of planning developed in the 1960s and the reception that it got in the years that followed.
William M. O'Barr