PurposeTo assess changes in advertising the British children’s annual, Chatterbox, over the first three decades of the twentieth century.Design/methodology/approachThe products/firms involved were identified and the advertisements classified into product groups. The advertising content was examined in terms of the intended audience and the five longest-running advertisements were analysed to gauge trends at the single-product level. Attention was also given to long-term changes at the product-group level, the effects of the Great War and the roles of the publisher, editor and advertisers.FindingsIn total, 457 advertisements were documented over 1900-1930 representing about 80 different products/firms. They were classified into 10 distinctive groupings with Food Ingredients, at almost 26 per cent of the total, being the most abundant. Overwhelmingly, the advertisements were directed at middle-class women/mothers (∼75 per cent of the total), then children (∼15 per cent) with men/fathers essentially being ignored. The five longest-running advertisements (over 25 per cent of the total) showed little evidence of change but there were significant trends at the product-group level, in marketing to children and in average advertisement size, particularly during the last two decades of the study period, partially reflecting gradual social and technological changes.Originality/valueComprehensive quantitative analysis of advertising in children’s magazine literature over several decades is problematic because of the difficulty in accessing sufficient source material. The present study is exhaustive and establishes a reference point for the assessment of advertising in similar publications in the post-Victorian era.
Journal of Historical Research in Marketing – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 20, 2019
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