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The first known written advertisement is more than three thousand years old!

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The first known written advertisement is more than three thousand years old!

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This message, written on a papyrus found in the ruins of Thebes, in Egypt, was translated into English by a journalist, James Playsted Wood, author of The Story of Advertising, published in 1958.

This message, written on a papyrus found in the ruins of Thebes, in Egypt, was translated into English by a journalist, James Playsted Wood, author of The Story of Advertising, published in 1958.

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The first known written advertisement is more than three thousand years old!

  1. 1. The first known written advertisement is more than three thousand years old! Translations in English, French, Italian & Spanish Jean-Marie Le Ray (2015)
  2. 2. “The man-slave, Shem, having run away from his good master, Hapu the Weaver, all good citizens of Thebes are enjoined to help return him. He is a Hittite, 5'2" tall, of ruddy complexion and brown eyes. For news of his whereabouts half a gold coin is offered. And for his return to the shop of Hapu the Weaver, where the best cloth is woven to your desires, a whole gold coin is offered.” Translation in English (first printed advertisement in the world)
  3. 3. This message, written on a papyrus found in the ruins of Thebes, in Egypt, was translated into English by a journalist, James Playsted Wood, author of The Story of Advertising, published in 1958.
  4. 4. Currently, this papyrus should be preserved in the British Museum, even if I found in an international comparative study, entitled “History of advertising in Japan, 701-1867”, this statement by one of the authors: “The original poster on papyrus is said to have been kept in a British Museum in London. Since I wanted to take a picture of the original, I asked the museum for the reference of it many times. However, their answer has always been that there is no such ducument in a British Museum. The whereabouts of the poster is still in a fog.” Also, the same author said about the translation of the message: “The original text of The Story of Advertising mentions "gold" twice. However, this seems to be a mistake because a money economy was not developed in Egypt at that time.” HISTORY OF ADVERTISING IN JAPAN, 701-1867 AN INTERNATIONAL COMPARATIVE STUDY Toshio Yamaki, Tokyo Keizai University Kikuko Fukatsu, University of Iowa
  5. 5. « L’esclave Shem s’est enfui de chez son patron, Hapu le tisserand. Tous les bons citoyens de Thèbes sont invités à retrouver le fugitif. Il s’agit d’un Hittite, de cinq pieds de haut, robuste et aux yeux bruns. Une demi-pièce d’or sera offerte pour toute information sur le sort de l’individu. À quiconque le ramènera à la tente de Hapu, le tisserand, où sont tissées les plus belles étoffes au goût de tous, une pièce d’or sera remise » Translation in French (la plus ancienne publicité du monde)
  6. 6. “Dopo essere stato abbandonato dal suo schiavo, Shem, il datore di lavoro, Hapu il tessitore, invita tutti i buoni cittadini di Tebe ad aiutare a trovarlo. L'ittita è alto cinque piedi, è di corporatura robusta ed ha occhi castani. Egli [il tessitore] offre un pezzo d'oro a chi fornisce informazioni su dove si trovi, a chi lo consegnerà alla tenda di Hapu, il tessitore, dove si tessono le stoffe più belle di tutta Tebe secondo i gusti di ognuno”. Translation in Italian (la pubblicità più antica del mondo)
  7. 7. “Habiendo huido el esclavo Shem de su patrono Hapu, el tejedor, éste invita a todos los buenos ciudadanos de Tebas a encontrarle. Es un hitita, de cinco pies de alto, de robusta complexión y ojos castaños. Se ofrece media pieza de oro a quien de información acerca de su paradero. A quien lo devuelva a la tienda de Hapu, el tejedor, donde se tejen las más hermosas telas al gusto de cada uno, se le entregará una pieza de oro”. Translation in Spanish (el anuncio más antiguo del mundo)

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