To read this content please select one of the options below:

Between persuasion and courtesy: Polish press advertising, ca. 1850–1939

Izabella Parowicz (Chair of Strategies for European Cultural Heritage, Europa-Universität Viadrina, Frankfurt an der Oder, Germany)

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing

ISSN: 1755-750X

Article publication date: 10 August 2022

Issue publication date: 27 October 2022




Early Polish press advertising (between 1850s and 1939) was characterized by a distinctive and today’s extinct combination of elements of persuasion and exceptional courtesy toward potential customers. The purpose of this paper is to show the place of customer psychology in the earliest Polish advertising textbooks in the context of the actions of Polish press advertisers at that time, convinced of the susceptibility of their recipients to courtesy, appreciation and flattery.


Historical method based on archival research in Polish digital libraries was used with the aim of identifying and analyzing primary sources, enriched by examples of advertisements from pre-1939 newspapers and historical periodicals illustrating the phenomenon in question and by the findings of more recent Polish-language research papers.


The issue of courtesy was, in fact, discussed by many authors of Polish advertising textbooks in the period under study. They viewed excessive courtesy in print advertising as an unmodern approach. However, empirical research from 1936 has been preserved which proves that a combination of persuasion and courtesy in advertising was perceived as most effective by its target groups.


This study introduces hitherto unknown Polish marketing thought and practice, drawing on the earliest, mostly forgotten Polish marketing textbooks and other primary sources from the years 1896 to 1939. Thus, this study contributes to the body of research on the history of advertising.



Parowicz, I. (2022), "Between persuasion and courtesy: Polish press advertising, ca. 1850–1939", Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, Vol. 14 No. 4, pp. 453-484.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles