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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 5: Paradox & Pitfalls


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The 1990s were filled with seemingly advantageous opportunities for advertising. Advances in technology provided superior workflows, enhanced equipment, and new ways to reach mass audiences. Despite the promise associated with these opportunities, advertising began to struggle. Its drift toward decline quickly spiraled into relentless chaos.

Advances in electronification led to democratized information and technology within advertising. As a result, advertising experienced major disruptions within its internal structure and consumer environment. Disruptions were largely attributed to technological contributions from Adobe and the Internet. These disruptions eventually led to the cessation of productivity and power redistribution, which signaled the impending paradigm shift.

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