At the core of Kotex, Kleenex, Huggies is the riveting story of Kimberly-Clark, a Wisconsin paper company that became a pioneer of personal hygiene products in the twentieth century. Its first big commercial success was Kotex, which came from sanitary wound bandages developed in World War I. Similarly, Kleenex evolved from Army gas mask filters into disposable handkerchiefs and became the company's most reliable profit maker. Finally, Huggies turned Kimberly-Clark into a leading player in the highly competitive diaper market of the 1970s and 1980s. In addition to tracing Kimberly-Clark's fascinating history of technology development and product diversification, Heinrich and Batchelor explore momentous changes in consumer behavior and marketing. When Kotex first arrived on the scene in the 1920s, menstrual hygiene was burdened with cultural taboos that made it impossible for many women to ask the (inevitably male) pharmacist for a sanitary napkin. To solve such vexing marketing problems, Kimberly-Clark invented the artificial word Kotex and inserted it into consumer vocabulary through massive advertising campaigns. Making it easier for women to shop for the new product. Kimberly-Clark also recommended that stores place boxes of Kotex on the counter where women could help themselves without embarrassing conversation, thus pioneering the concept of self-service.

For the last 150 years, advertising has created a consumer culture in the United States, shaping every facet of American life—from what we eat and drink to the clothes we wear and the cars we drive.

• Includes original essays by noted cultural and advertising historians, commentators, and journalists

• Provides analysis from experts in advertising and popular culture that places American advertising in historical and cultural context

• Supplies a comprehensive examination of advertising history and its consequences across modern America

• Presents an extensive analysis of the role of new media and the Internet

• Documents why advertising is necessary, not only for companies, but in determining what being "an American" constitutes