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Advertisers in the Golden Age of Broadcasting


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About the Book

How was it that America would fund its nascent national radio services? Government control and a subscription-like model were both considered! Soon an advertising system emerged, leading radio into its golden age from the 1920s to the early 1960s.
This work, divided into two parts, studies the commercialization of network radio during its golden age. The first part covers the general history of radio advertising. The second examines major radio advertisers of the period, with profiles of 24 companies who maintained a strong presence on the airwaves.
Appendices provide information on 100 additional advertisers, unusual advertisement formats, and a glossary. The book has notes and a bibliography and is fully indexed.

About the Author(s)

Jim Cox, a leading radio historian, is an award-winning author of numerous books on the subject. A retired college professor, he lives in Louisville, Kentucky.

Bibliographic Details

Jim Cox
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 332
Bibliographic Info: 5 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2013 [2008]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7518-6
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5176-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii

Preface      1


1. Ancestors of Radio Advertising      7

2. Commercializing the Ether      17

3. Ad Agencies: They Held the Whip Hand      32

4. Audience Measurement Services: Counting the House      41

5. Commercial Copywriters: Persuasive Penmanship      52

6. Commercial Spokesmen: They Delivered the Goods      60


American Home Products      73

American Tobacco Company      79

Andrew Jergens Company      88

Bristol-Myers Company      95

Brown & Williamson Tobacco Company      101

Campbell Soup Company      106

Coca-Cola Company      113

Colgate-Palmolive-Peet Company      121

Ford Motor Company      129

General Foods Corporation      136

General Mills, Inc      146

General Motors Company      156

Kellogg Company      164

Kraft Foods Company      171

Lever Brothers Company      177

Liggett & Myers Tobacco Company      184

P. Lorillard, Inc      192

Miles Laboratories, Inc      197

Philip Morris Company      205

Procter & Gamble Company      212

Quaker Oats Company      221

R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company      228

Standard Brands, Inc      234

Sterling Drug, Inc      240

Appendix A: 100 More Advertisers in Radio’s Golden Age      249

Appendix B: Variants That Impacted the Radio Commercial      273

Appendix C: A Glossary of Advertising and Broadcasting Jargon      296

Chapter Notes      303

Bibliography      313

Index      317

Book Reviews & Awards

“Cox is…prolific writer on the subject of radio and its history…highly recommended”—The Illustrated Press; “much of value…worthwhile reading…a necessary addition”—Radio Recall; “an enjoyable book…fascinating”—DX News; “Jim Cox has turned out another book on golden age radio…a volume long overdue…an admirable job”—Radio Collectors of America; “an enjoyable book…fascinating”—Monitoring Times; “heartily endorse it”—Old Radio Times; “Jim Cox is an award winning author because of his prolific research and writing in old time radio. He has written definitive books on radio soap opera, radio sitcoms, radio music, radio audience participation shows and several other books in that genre…an enjoyable book…fascinating”—The Indiana Historical Radio Society Bulletin.