Public Administration


Advertising: A Research Guide

The resources listed below will assist researchers in finding advertisement information including primary documents such as historic ads, agency contacts, and ratings. This guide also serves to acquaint the researcher with some of the basic informational sources on the topic. The terms and phrases listed in the subject headings below can be used to search for more materials in the library’s catalog and research databases. If you need further assistance, please ask a librarian.

Key Words


Marketing, mass media, promotion, brand name products, consumer profiing, niche, market segmentation, customer services

Reference Materials

Ad*Access. John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising, and Marketing History, Duke University Press. 1999.

Features images from over 7,000 advertisements printed in U.S. and Canadian newspapers and magazines between 1911 and 1955 on topics of radio, television, transportation, beauty and hygiene, and World War II.

Advertising Age Encyclopedia of Advertising edited by John McDonough and Karen Egolf. 3 vols. New York: Fitzroy Dearborn, 2002. ISBN: 1579581722.

Contains surveys of agencies and advertisers, past and contemporary, as well as their ad campaigns. Also includes biographies, issues, methodology, and strategy.

The Emergence of Advertising in America: 1850–1920. John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising, and Marketing History. Duke University Press. 2000.

Presents over 9,000 images relating to the early history of advertising in the United States. The materials are drawn from the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library at Duke University.


Advertising Age’s FactPack, QwikFIND: aan86x (PDF)

This annual directory lists marketing industry data such as who spends the most on advertising, what is the cost of a TV ad, total amount spent on advertising in different media, and more.

The Advertising Red Books. Advertiser and Advertising Agencies. (Also international edition.) New Providence, NJ: Lexis-Nexis, 2003– . Semiannual.  (SouthCat: Standard Directory of Advertisers).


The Agency Directory includes profiles of nearly 14,000 U.S. and international advertising agencies, including major accounts represented by each agency, fields of specialization, breakdown of gross billings by media, and contact information on agency personnel. The Advertiser Directory contains information on over 15,000 U.S. and international advertisers who each spend more than $200,000 annually on advertising.

Standard Rate and Data Service. Des Plaines, IL: SRDS. Serial publications.  (SouthCat: Standard Rate and Data Service: television and cable).

A series of directories with varying titles that include media rates and information including business, consumer publications and newspapers, ad rates and specifications; broadcast stations, their formats and audience demographics, direct marketing lists, and more.


Advertising Age. Chicago: Crain Communications, 1930– . Weekly. ISSN: 00018899.

Journal of Advertising. Athens, GA: American Academy of Advertising, 1960– . Quarterly. ISSN: 00913367.

Journal of Advertising Research. Advertising Research Foundation. Nyack, NY: Cambridge University Press, 1960– . Quarterly. ISSN: 00218499.

Journal of Marketing. New York: American Marketing Association, 1936– . Quarterly. ISSN: 00222429.

Journal of Marketing Research. Chicago, American Marketing Association, 1964– . Quarterly. ISSN: 00222437.

Journal of Marketing and Public Policy, American Marketing Association,  1982 -.  BiAnnual.  ISSN:  07439156.

Journal of Marketing Education:  Marketing Education Association, 1999 - .  Triennial.  ISSN:  02734753.



USA subscribes to e-books, electronic books that can be checked out online and read on your pc.  To see various e-book resources go to  Below are e-books that may be of specific interest to the study of advertising.


Event Marketing : How to Successfully Promote Events, Festivals, Conventions, and Expositions by Hoyle, Leonard H.  John Wiley & Sons, Inc.  (US), 2002.  E-Book ISBN:  9780471226581.

              Explore the evolution of event marketing, and integrative marketing.  Examples from the creative geniuses who paved the event marketing frontier.


Net Words: Creating High-impact Online Copy by Usborne, Nick. New York McGraw-Hill Professional, 2002.  E-Book ISBN:  9780071415774.

              Learn the secrets to writing good advertising copy for online.  E-commerce sites can improve the quality of interaction with customers by learning to write using the power of words. 

Web Sites

AC Nielsen

Provides a variety of free and fee-based information on consumers, markets, and product information.


Provides information on Web advertising and online usage behaviors.


The Advertising Council

Leading producer of public service advertisements (PSAs) since 1942. Addresses social issues.

The Advertising Research Foundation

Founded in 1936, The Advertising Research Foundation is a nonprofit corporate-membership association that represents more than 400 advertisers, advertising agencies, research firms, media companies, educational institutions and international organizations.

American Advertising Federation

Trade association that represents 50,000 professionals in the advertising industry.

American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA)

Founded in 1917, the AAAA is the national trade association and represents large, multinational agencies. Membership produces approximately 75% of the total advertising volume placed by agencies nationwide.


Other Search Aids


Library of Congress classification scheme


Dewey Classification scheme


Librarian’s Index to the Internet

A subject index vetted by librarians.



Online search interface to find books and other items in libraries near you.


Online Databases through USA Libraries and Alabama Virtual Library

The University Library holds journals in print and electronic formats.  Many databases will link directly to the full-text article.  If only a citation is found you can check the SouthCat catalog to see if the library holds a print copy. The Alabama Virtual Library (AVL) provides all students, teachers, and citizens of the State of Alabama with online access to essential library and information resources. It is primarily a group of online databases that have magazine, journal, and newspaper articles for research.

Business & Company Resource Center

contains the latest information drawn from the following databases: American Wholesalers and Distributors Directory, Brands and Their Companies, Business Rankings Annual, 2000 through Present, Consultants and Consulting Organizations Directory, Encyclopedia of American Industries, Encyclopedia of Associations: National Organizations of the U.S., Encyclopedia of Associations: Regional, State, and Local Organizations, Encyclopedia of Associations: International Organizations, Encyclopedia of Emerging Industries, Encyclopedia of Global Industries, Graham and Whiteside Major Company Series, International Directory of Company Histories, Market Share Reporter, Notable Corporate Chronologies, Publishers Directory, Telecommunications Directory, Ward's Business Directory of U.S. Private and Public Companies, Ward's Business Directory of Private and Public Companies in Canada and Mexico, World Market Share Reporter

Blackwell/Synergy (Wiley InterScience)

Provides full-text access to online books and journals on marketing such as Journal of Consumer Affairs, Journal of Consumer Behavior,  3G Marketing and International Journal of Consumer Studies

Business Source Premier

Includes trade journals, country economic reports, industry reports and market research reports

Communications and Mass Media

Includes over 200 full-text journals such as Advertising Age, Journal of Advertising, Marketing Science and Media Week

Emerald Management Research

Access to journals, reference works, books, abstracts, reviews, wikis, blogs, best practices and backfiles


SouthCat University Library Catalogue call numbers





Economic theory. Demography


Consumption. Demand


Consumer demand




Marketing. Distribution of products


Retail trade




Subject Headings

•     advertising—social aspects—United States

•     advertising—statistics

•     advertising—United States—history

•     advertising agencies—directories

•     advertising agencies—statistics

•     advertising media planning—Africa—directories

•     radio advertising—United States—directories

•     slogans

•     television advertising—United States—directories