18th Century Contextual Advertising

Does this advertisement from the May 10, 1764 issue of Benjamin Franklin’s Pennsylvania Gazette make you want to pick up some Benjamin Jackson Mustard and Chocolate?

Source: 18th Century Advertising, When Brevity Wasn’t Key | Rag Linen | Online Museum of Historic Newspapers

We complain about ads on the web (or Facebook) today, but the convention is nothing new. Our ability to contextualize ads, and ignore them, are interesting developments in our own own structural literacies.

What is new is the ability of advertisers to “track” our digital selves on and off the web and our ability to actually block ads on the web with ad blockers.

How will the web “disrupt” humanity’s second oldest profession?

BTW, this ad totally makes me want to go to Philadelphia and buy some of this mustard.

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