Advertising America: Official Propaganda and the U.S. Promotional Industries, 1946–1950

Inger L. Stole

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the mid-1930s, the notion that the U.S. government would collaborate with the country’s private industries to project official policies and shape public opinion abroad as well as at home would have been controversial and considered a violation of the nation’s democratic values. Yet, by the early 1950s, institutions and practices were in place to make this a regular activity. Much of this ideological work was done surreptitiously, in conjunction with commercial media, and there was little public or news media discussion demanding exposure and accountability for it. What had once been unthinkable had become unquestionable. This monograph chronicles the development of U.S. “information services” in the immediate postwar years. It chronicles the synergetic relationship between government interests, represented by the U.S. State Department, and major American corporations, represented by groups like the Committee for Economic Development and the Advertising Council in portraying the rapidly escalating Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union in a manner that would secure economic world dominance for American interests in the postwar era.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4-63
Number of pages60
JournalJournalism and Communication Monographs
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • Advertising Council
  • Cold War
  • Committee on Economic Development
  • Marshall Plan
  • U.S. State Department
  • William Benton
  • propaganda
  • public opinion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication


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