The Dutch Republic and the Birth of Modern Advertising


With the birth of a serial press in the seventeenth century, the introduction of paid advertising was the most crucial step in pointing the newspaper industry towards a sustainable future. Here, as in so much else, the laboratory of invention was the seventeenth-century Dutch Republic. In this study, based on an exhaustive examination of the first six thousand advertisements placed in Dutch newspapers between 1620 and 1675, Arthur der Weduwen and Andrew Pettegree chart the growth of advertising from an adjunct to the book industry, advertising newly published titles, to a broad reflection of a burgeoning consumer society. Businesses and private citizens used the newspapers to offer a wide range of goods and services, publicise new inventions, or appeal for help in recovering lost and stolen goods, pets or children. In these evocative, colourful and sometimes deeply moving notices, we see the beginnings of marketing strategies that would characterise the advertising world over the following centuries, and into the modern era.

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Arthur der Weduwen is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of St Andrews and the author of Dutch and Flemish Newspapers of the Seventeenth Century and The Bookshop of the World: Making and Trading Books in the Dutch Golden Age (co-authored with Andrew Pettegree).

Andrew Pettegree is Professor of Modern History at the University of St Andrews and Director of the Universal Short Title Catalogue. He is the author of over a dozen books in the fields of Reformation history and the history of communication.
List of Illustrations and Tables
Terms of Use
Abbreviations of Newspapers
1 Newspapers and the Birth of Advertising
2 Newspaper Advertising and the Book Industry
3 Profit and Opportunity, Networks and Risk
4 Commerce and Public Information
5 No Saints and Precious Few Heroes
6 Disaster and Recovery: Advertising in 1672 and the Williamite Republic
7 The Dutch Republic and the Future of Advertising, I : Home Thoughts
8 The Dutch Republic and the Future of Advertising, II : Beyond the Netherlands
All interested in the history of newspapers, advertising, consumer society, the book trade, the Dutch Republic and early modern Europe.
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