Drawing on a unique study of Australian advertising agencies at the dawn of the digital era, this book provides a hitherto unexplored study of the advertising industry at a point of its disruption. By exploring the dynamic interaction between this established but complacent industry, and a radically new communication medium, this book reveals how advertising agencies were forced to change fundamentally, yet as an industry helped shape the digital economy, and the platforms that dominate it.
Based on contemporary reports, company archives, personal archives, and over 50 interviews with past and current advertising practitioners across the range of agency departments, this unique historical narrative reveals how power shifts between agencies, advertisers, and other media platforms forged the current models of advertiser-funded digital media.
For scholars of marketing, media, communication, and contemporary history, this is an illuminating perspective on the early impact of the digital revolution and its relevance to the media landscape today.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Certainty and the Digital Dawn
1. The End of Certainty
2. The New Ascendancy
3. The Media Coup
4. The Rise of the Machine
5. Ambiguity and the Information Superhighway
6. Following the Eyeballs
7. Reimagining the Advertising Agency
CODA: Perpetual Uncertainty in the New Digital Age
Robert Crawford is a Professor of Advertising and Associate Dean of Research and Innovation in the School of Media and Communication at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. His research has focused on the growth and development of the advertising, marketing and public relations industries across Australia, Oceania, and South East Asia.