Coming Soon!
Advertising in America
A Reference Handbook
by Danielle Sarver Coombs
February 2024, 350pp, 6 x 9
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-7766-7
$65, £50, 57€, A90
Available for purchase 30 days prior to publication.
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-7767-4
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Industry experts estimate that across North America in 2021, businesses spent about $296 billion U.S. dollars on advertising—an 18% increase from the previous COVID-battered year.

This authoritative one-stop resource provides a rich overview of the evolution and present state of advertising, as well as the multitude of connected issues—data collection, privacy, consumerism, technology, and others—regarding advertising and its pervasive role in American life.

Advertising has become a ubiquitous force in American life, penetrating almost every aspect of our daily routines. Additionally, as technology has evolved throughout American history, so too has advertising proliferated as media has become instantaneous and increasingly sophisticated. Whether it’s billboards on the side of the road, targeted posts in your Facebook feed, television commercials, or sponsored Instagram posts, it’s almost impossible to escape someone trying to sell you something.

This book is a resource for understanding the world behind the advertising jingles and Super Bowl commercials and internet pop-ups and local supermarket flyers. It surveys various advertising media, discusses the social and cultural contexts in which it is consumed, and highlights key moments in the history of advertising in the United States. Furthermore, it uses a collection of carefully curated information tables, primary documents, personal essays, and other resources to provide readers with a full picture of advertising as both an industry and a shaper of American culture.


  • Features tables, charts, and primary sources providing different contexts and vantage points from which to view the issue
  • Includes personal and scholarly perspectives on the advertising industry and its impact on America, good and bad
  • Profiles leading advertising professionals, agencies, and campaigns that have made their mark in the American consciousness
  • Identifies and explains the building blocks of American advertising in all its many forms
Danielle Sarver Coombs, PhD, is associate director and associate professor at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Kent State University. She is the author of Last Man Standing: Media, Framing, and the 2012 Republican Primaries and has conducted extensive research on politics and sports. She holds a doctorate in mass communication and public affairs from Louisiana State University.

Contemporary World Issues

This award-winning series offers comprehensive, one-volume reference handbooks on important topics related to health, education, the environment, and social and ethical issues.

24-hour cable news. Millions of internet sites. Information overload. How can we sort through the information? Assess the analyses? Trust the sources?

A world of questions demands a library of answers. Contemporary World Issues covers the controversial topics that students, readers, and citizens want to read about, write about, and know more about.


Subject coverage spans six main categories:

  • Criminal Justice
  • Environment
  • Gender and Ethnicity
  • Politics, Law, and Government
  • Science, Technology, and Medicine
  • Society
Each volume offers a rich array of resources:
  • A background and history essay that provides essential context and grounding for further study
  • A balanced summary of ongoing controversies and proposed solutions that show numerous paths for further research on pressing, contemporary questions
  • A forum of authoritative perspective essays by experts, offering a broad spectrum of arguments on the issues
  • Carefully selected annotated documents, tables, and graphs that support statistical literacy and investigation of primary sources
  • A chronology of events, legislation, and movements that place events in sequence and draw connections between them
  • Annotated lists of print, web, and multimedia resources that power the next steps for in-depth research
  • Profiles of key players and organizations
  • A glossary of key terms
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