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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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The Convergence Crisis: Introduction


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Recent years of advertising have been an accelerated path of calamity. Yes, there has been success. Yes, there has been progress, but, overall, advertising is not winning. There have been major—no, excuse me—epic fails! I’m sorry, is that still cool? That’s still cool, right … that’s not passé. That’s not cliché. It’s not like I said “winning”; that’s old. But if I said “winning” in the right context it would be OK … right? There are periods where everything just seems to run together in a contradictory mess. But there is hope. There is social media—the great fixer. Social media will not only rectify all advertising woes but it will also bring the world together in a very sincere Kumbaya moment. And that’s it. Problem solved. But, just when you think you have it together—boom. Something else happens, such as Instagram, “the gram,” Pinterest, Vine, Buzz Feed, or the next best thing ever. Don’t worry, this is life. This is advertising. Everything is under control. This is how the pendulum swings. Things happen and everything will get back to normal soon. But no, something major has happened. Something has drastically altered reality. There has been a huge shift. There are now multiple voices in this conversation and no one is quite sure who is in control or even if control is still an option. One advertising professional stated, “I walk around in fear and loathing, dazed and confused. I...

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