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The Convergence Crisis

An Impending Paradigm Shift in Advertising

Joanna L. Jenkins

The Convergence Crisis tells the story of an impending paradigm shift in advertising. Beginning in the early 1840s with the birth of the first advertising agency and momentum spurred by industrial systems, the book provides a historical overview of significant events and socio-cultural economic factors that have occurred to explain how and why a [convergence] crisis has erupted in contemporary American advertising. Significant blurring of once-distinct boundaries and redistribution caused by convergence has led to new methods of communication being used in advertising and among audiences. The book intends to bring awareness, clarity, and understanding to the opportunities presented through convergence via its rich historical narrative and theoretical framework.
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Chapter 3: Growth & Expansion


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In the 1920s advertising entered its second phase of development. This period was marked by exponential growth and expansion. Advertising built upon the unprecedented success it achieved through its participation with the Committee on Public Information (CPI). The knowledge they acquired provided a paradigm for future prosperity.

Although pivotal, the newly established paradigm was limited in scope and precision due to its infinitesimal state. Consequently, advertising devoted significant attention to its articulation. Advertising’s primary objective was to establish methods to increase productivity and effective problem solving using the new paradigm. Advertising also sought techniques to reinforce new understandings. This was accomplished in several ways. The first approach involved discovering methods to apply the paradigm to produce consistent successful outcomes. Advertising also explored ways to produce data and systems of measurement. Moreover, advertising investigated ways to identify techniques to apply the paradigm to future areas of interest (Kuhn, 1964).

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