ADVE'RTISEMENT (from the French avertissement, which properly sig nifies a giving notice, or the announce ment, of some fact or facts). In the English, Scotch, and Irish newspapers, and other periodical works, there are annually published nearly two millions of announcements which, whatever be their peculiar character, are known by the general name Advertisement. The duty on a single advertisement was formerly 3s. 6d. in Great Britain, and 28.'6d. in Ireland ; but by 3 & 4 Wm. IV. c. 23, it was reduced to Is. 6d. in Great Britain, and Is. in Ireland. In the year previous to this reduction the total number of newspaper advertisements published in the United Kingdom was 921,943, viz. 787,649 in England, 108,914 in Scotland, and 125,380 in Ireland. The duty amounted to 172,5701., and had been sta tionary for several years. In 1841 the number of advertisements had increased to 1,778,957, namely, 1,386,625 for England and Wales (653,615 in London, and 733,010 in provincial newspapers); 188,189 in Scotland; and 204,143 in Ireland. The total duty amounted to 128,3181.; and it has progressively in creased from the period when the reduc tion took place, EC, that there is little doubt of its producing, in time, as large a revenue as it did at the higher rate. The circulation of newspapers has nearly doubled since the reduction of the stamp duty upon them ; and as the number of separate newspapers has not much in creased, an advertisement has the chance of being seen by a greater number of readers. The size of newspapers bas been doubled in many instances, to allow of the insertion of a greater number of advertisements. The 'Times' news paper, which has always had the largest number of advertisements, contained 202,972 advertisements in 1842, or nearly one-third of all the advertisements pub lished in London : as many as 1200 ad vertisements have sometimes appeared in one day's publication, and the average number each day exceeds 700. Since 1836 this newspaper has issued a double sheet; and within the last two years, during the session of Parliament, even an additional sheet has been issued twice or three times a week, in conse quence of the demand for increased space for advertisements. Generally speaking, advertisements supply the fund out of which newspapers are supported, as the price at which the newspaper is sold is insufficient to pay the cost of the stamp, the paper, the printing, and the cost of management. In the greater number of advertisements, the former duty of 3s. 6d. constituted a tax of 100 per
The lowest price of an advertisement in a London daily newspaper is now 5s., which includes the duty : such adver tisement must not exceed five lines. The usual practice is to charge 6d. per line for each line above four ; but when the number of lines exceeds about twenty lines, the rate of charge is increased, the longest advertisements being charged at the highest rate. The rate per column for a single advertisement varies from 6/. to 12/. according to the circulation of the paper in which it is printed. Advertise ments from servants wanting places 'are charged only 48. each; and one or two papers in the large provincial towns have adopted a plan of charging only 28. td. for short advertisements of a couple of lines, which are sufficient to embrace notices of a great variety of public wants, of a na ture similar to those made known by ad. vertisement in the papers of the United States. But here the duty on these short advertisements constitutes a tax of 66 per cent. If the duty were abo lished, the minimum price of advertise ments world probably be ls. in all but a few papers. The habit of advertising has, however, been practically by the former high duty. In our com plicated state of society every facility should be given to the only effectual means of informing die public of new im provements, inventions, and other things calculated to promote the public advan tage. The yearly number of advertise ments in the United States, where no duty on them exists, is said to exceed 10,000,000.
Advertisements relating to the ad ministration of the poor law, such as con tracts for supplies, elections of officers, 8te., are exempt from duty, as are also those relating to the proceedings under bankruptcies and insolvencies.
A printed copy of every pamphlet or paper (not a newspaper) containing ad vertisements must be brought to the Stamp-Office to be entered, and the duty thereon to be paid, under a penalty of 20L (§ 21, 6 & 7 Wm. IV. c. 76).
The first English advertisement which can be found, is in the `Impartial Intelli me:" for 1649, and relates to stolen In the few papers published from the time of the Restoration to the imposi tion of the Stamp Duty in 1712, the price of a short advertisement appears seldom to have exceeded a shilling, and to have been sometimes as low as sixpence. (Nichols's Literary Anecdotes, vol. iv.)