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Print advertising has been used for millennia.
Ancient Egyptians carved steel, and used papyrus for sales messages and wall posters. Out-of-home (OOH) advertising, designed to target consumers on the go, outdoors, or in public places, was conceived 2000 years BCE.
In 1472, a gentleman of Kent by the name of William Caxton, printed adverts for his book, of which only two copies survive. Caxton is considered to be the first English printer, and the first English retailer of books. His printed adverts were tacked to church doors, recommending Caxton’s Sarum Pie, or the Ordinale ad usum sarum – a handbook for priests – in an early example of targeted marketing.
By the 19th century, printed advertising was a regular feature in newspapers and magazines. Direct mail advertising also became popular in the 20th century, before technological advances such as broadcast media and the internet demanded electronic advertising too.