Monica Brasted's original contribution to this issue focuses on American advertising during World War I. She looks at the values of patriotism, service, thrift, and utility in consumer advertising and shows how these values were reframed through a rhetoric of consumption. Brasted's article joins several others that have been published in Advertising & Society Review examining the links between advertising and state goals, be they in the United States or in other countries like China or India. It reminds researchers whose focus is on more contemporary aspects of advertising and society of the important role that the study of advertising can also play in understanding social and political history.
Renee Hobbs examines the rather new addition to American primary and secondary school curricula of units on media literacy. Given the omnipresence of media (including sponsored media) in the culture, it seems only reasonable that the schools should teach students about media and how to interpret it. Hobbs asks what it is that students learn through such education and whether they achieve stated goals. Her article reports on an empirical study designed to answer these questions and discusses the broader social issues it raises.
In addition to these original articles, this issue also contains a panel discussion of "Advertising and the New Masculinities" that took place in New York City in October 2004 as a part of Advertising in New York Week. Advertising practitioners, scholars, and critics deconstructed representations of masculinity in four TV commercials during a provocative 1 ½ hour session transcribed here. (See Issue 2, Volume 4 of A&SR which contains other discussions of masculinity and advertising.)
William M. O'Barr