My lovely brother Laith [not that my other brother isn't lovely, just to clarify] got me The Shocking History of Advertising! by E. S. Turner as a gift and I'm currently immersed in it.
It's hilarious - informative and, having been written in the 60s looking backwards to the very genesis of our trade, it incessantly reminds me how little has changed.
Although it does remain silent about the impact of digital communication technologies and the resultant cultural behaviours on the context of commercial idea transmission.
But then to quote Wittgenstein:
Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must remain silent.
OK, some things have changed - you don't get many ads like the one above anymore.
In the spirit of stealing [the book's out of print now, so it's good stealing - like Robin Hood, only with words. Robin Words. No wait, Robin didn't steal hoods did he. Did he wear a hood? Nevermind] I'm going to have TIGS host a few recontextualised excerpts of the book as I go, to allow the light of the past to illuminate the present.
And because they are funny.