Advertising, the techniques and practices used to bring products, services, opinions, or causes to public notice for the purpose of persuading the public to respond in a certain way toward what is advertised. Most advertising involves promoting a good that is for sale, but similar methods are used to encourage people to drive safely, to support various charities, or to vote for political candidates, among many other examples. In many countries advertising is the most important source of income for the media (e.g., newspapers, magazines, or television stations) through which it is conducted. In the noncommunist world advertising has become a large and important service industry.
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In the ancient and medieval world such advertising as existed was conducted by word of mouth.