Today advertising is big business as firms spend huge budgets on promoting their products. While celebrities supplement their income persuading us to eat everything from crisps to luxury frozen meals, sports stars can earn seven figure sums from sponsorship deals and endorsements.
We tend to think of advertising as a modern phenomenon, one of the evils of a media dominated lifestyle, but it was ever thus.
An early example of the flyer, fodder for the recycling box today, was produced by Smith, Nash, Kemble and Travers 'wholesalers and retailers,' who in 1779 informed their customers of a sugar shortage due to 'the loss of Grenada.' And by the beginning of the 19th century no entreperneurial opportunity to advertise was missed from bill boards to sandwich boards and of course, newspapers and magazines. Swindon newspaper proprietor William Morris called his broadsheet the Swindon Advertiser, because it did just that.
Regent Street was a proliferation of advertisements on shop fronts, awnings and the sides of buildings but if you thought these days of TV and internet advertising had eclipsed more traditional forms of promotion you would be wrong, as a walk down Rodbourne Road soon reveals.
For more photographs of Rodbourne through the ages visit the Rodbourne Community History Group website.