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Ad Council
Why is Advertising Important?



While the D'Arcy and Woodward collections extensively illustrate commercial advertising in America during the 19th and 20th centuries, the Advertising Council Archives tell the story of public service advertising since the early days of World War II. After W.W.II, the War Advertising Council shortened its name to the Ad Council and began serving organizations not connected with government. The focus shifted to peace-time issues with the goal of addressing societal problems through influencing and informing the public.

By identifying and publicizing issues with which Americans are widely concerned, the Ad Council has worked to motivate individuals, corporations, and other organizations to work together to solve widespread problems such as drunk driving, drug abuse, racism, child abuse, the use of seat belts, AIDS awareness, mental illness, and African American education (United Negro College Fund).



We regret that the advertisements from the Ad Council as shown in the exhibit cannot be shown on the web. Permission has not been granted by the Ad Council at this time. You may, however surf through the Ad Council web pages to find more information about the activities of the council.

The University of Illinois has a text-based on-line index you can peruse to see what is in the collection.


William Maher is the University Archivist. You can reach him at w-maher@uiuc.edu.

You can also find more about the University Archives on their web site.