Marchand, ATT: The Vision of a Loved Monopoly
How does Marchand’s account of the image of AT&T compare with the public image of
Microsoft during the recent anti-trust action against Bill Gates’ monopolistic practices?
Why did ATT begin a major new advertising campaign in 1908? Whose idea was this,
and what was the significance of the particular timing of the ad blitz?
What did ATT hope to accomplish through this expensive strategy?
How did the ads change over time? What messages did the company want to get out
about ATT, phone users, and the public interest? What specific images did ATT use, and
What can you tell from this account about the relationship between ad agencies such as
N. W. Ayer and Son and the corporate giants?
How did the representations of gender—of both telephone users and ATT employees
change over time?
Why did ATT want to hook its name and image to “democracy?” Was this “legit,” or
bogus? Did the IWW have a similar definition of industrial democracy? Were ATT’s
claims about ownership of stock misleading? How and why?
Was expensive advertising an effective strategy for ATT? What was the Kingsbury
Commitment? Did it favor ATT? Was it like a treaty? How did ATT fare later on, after
World War I and against anti-trust prosecutions during the Great Depression? Did
advertising have anything to do with this?