Advertising as Art - free LJMU exhibition

A new LJMU exhibition launching on Monday 17 November asks us to consider advertisements as reflections of our day-to-day lives and works of art, and much more than mere selling tools.

Drawing from the extensive archives of The History of Advertising Trust (HAT), the exhibition charts the artistic merit of some of the best-known British advertising campaigns, calling on visitors to the exhibition to evaluate their creativity and question the extent to which advertising can be regarded as art.

‘Advertising as Art’ features some of the most iconic advertising campaigns of the 60s, 70s, 80s and early 90s, before digital photography and computer software enabled images to be captured and manipulated more easily, forcing advertisers of that time to think creatively about their use of photography and animation.

Dr David Clampin, Senior Lecturer in History at LJMU, organised the exhibition and commented: “On a day-to-day basis we tend to take for granted the advanced cognitive skills we have developed which equip us to read and understand often very complex propositions. Whilst many of us may baulk at the prospect of visiting an abstract or impressionist art exhibition, many advertisements over the years have drawn on exactly the same techniques in order to draw in an audience, to encourage them to become active in the decoding of the message and, thereby, develop a ‘relationship’ or bond with the central proposition. This exhibition takes advertising out of the context of the everyday, provides a little background and explanation, and asks viewers to step back and admire the artistry that is presented in the name of commerce.”

This free exhibition takes place between 17 and 21 November, from 9am to 6pm, in the public exhibition space within the foyer of the John Lennon Art & Design Building, Duckinfield Street, Liverpool.

‘Advertising as Art’ is part of the national humanities festival ‘Being Human.’ LJMU is also holding a workshop for secondary school teachers entitled ‘Historic Advertising in the Classroom,’ to encourage the use of advertising as a primary source in developing historical literacy skills. LJMU’s Dr Lydia Papadimitriou, Senior Lecturer in Film Studies, is also taking part in the University of Portsmouth’s Conflict and Resolution Across Global Cultures event, another contribution to the ‘Being Human’ festival.


About Us

Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) has over 180 years’ experience educating students in a wide range of disciplines, spanning the arts, humanities, education, health, science and technology and we offer a diverse range of undergraduate degrees, postgraduate taught programmes and research opportunities. Over 95% of research submitted to the Research Excellence Framework (REF) in 2014 was of international quality or higher, with more than 70% of impact activity rated internationally excellent or world-leading. We are one of the top performing new universities in the UK for Architecture and Built Environment, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, General Engineering, Physics and Sports-Related Studies. LJMU also continues to be one of the UK’s leading higher education institutions for our interaction with business and the community. We are currently ranked in the top 40 UK universities for staff and graduate start-up companies and in the top 20 for spin-off companies.


This exhibition takes advertising out of the context of the everyday... and asks viewers to step back and admire the artistry that is presented in the name of commerce.
Dr David Clampin