This site is dedicated to the study of the Australian advertising industry in its broader world context. The aim is to provide a central hub for scholars and other interested individuals - within and without the academy - to engage in scholarship, locate resources, and be informed of new events and research in the field.
Content of the site has been inspired by Jackie Dickenson’s long involvement in advertising, both within the advertising industry, and in advertising education within the academic sphere, and her collaboration with others in the academic community including Robert Crawford at RMIT University.
Jackie Dickenson was recently interviewed about her advertising career by Siobhan Fitzgerald for Gabberish magazine.
advertising education history
Jackie Dickenson’s article in the November 2018 issue of RMIT Design Archives Journal traces the place of art and the artist in the Australian advertising industry between the wars, as the industry responded to unprecedented technological change.
Australian advertising art between the wars
It pays particular attention to the establishment and application of the Australian Advertising Association’s art education programme and the impact of the designer of that programme, Edward Charles Perugini (1882–1956), whose experiences as an art student in turn-of-the-century London helped to shape advertising art education and practice in Australia for more than half a century. Also in this issue, Robert Crawford traces the history of the Melbourne advertising agency, Barry Banks Blakeney.
globalising the magic system
The project ‘Globalising the Magic System: a History of Advertising Industry Practices in Australia 1959-1989’ aimed to shed light on the complex relationship between advertising and Australian society by recording, for the first time, the impact of globalisation on the work practices of this significant but under analysed industry. Most advertising studies concentrate on the analysis of the end product, the advertisements. This project was significant because it examined the processes through which these advertisements are produced, including hiring practices, agency hierarchies, client/agency relations, and technological change.
The research team conducted 120 interviews with advertising practitioners who worked in the advertising industry between 1959 and 1989.
The Australian Research Council (DP120100777) funded the research, which resulted in two monographs, symposiums and workshops, and numerous scholarly articles.
Click through to hear the interviews
advertising and the left
Recent studies of consumer culture have warned against viewing the formation of the modern consumer as a linear process. As Frank Trentmann writes in The Making of the Consumer (p. 18):
Rather than presuming a zero-sum exchange between consumer and citizen and locating each in separate systems of commerce and politics, it is useful to ask about the flow of knowledge between these systems, the iteration and overlap between ideas and practices of consumption and citizenship, and the multiple forms of identities arising therefrom.
The Australian labour press presents an ideal site for the study of this ‘iteration and overlap’. From its foundation in the 1890s the operations of the labour press straddled commerce and politics, promoting an alternative conception of Australian citizenship from that promoted by the mainstream press alongside the commercial appeals of various products and services. By Jackie Dickenson (Paper delivered at the ASSLH Conference, 2015).