Rick Popp Explores the 800-Number, Direct Marketing, and the New Networks of Consumption

JAMS Associate Professor Rick Popp explores how 800-service, or toll-free long-distance (In-WATS) lines, became an institutionalized part of direct marketing in the United States between the mid-1960s and early 1980s. Introduced by AT&T in 1967, 800-service attracted immediate attention in mail-order circles, where marketers saw it as means of automating long-distance selling and catering to an increasingly decentralized and credit-dependent populace.

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