Gargle Salt Water. Photo c/o Photographic Advertising Limited

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A photograph of a man gargling with a glass of water, taken by Photographic Advertising Limited in 1951.

Photographic Advertising Limited was founded in 1926 by a group experienced in photojournalism and film. The company created multi-purpose stock images with the potential for selling a range of products. Whilst enjoying its greatest success during the 1930s, it continued in business until 1977.

Photographic Advertising Limited’s trademark, the staged studio photograph resembling a film still, was its selling point and, later, its downfall. Sophisticated, adaptable and generic, this kind of image gradually fell out of favour as clients increasingly demanded targeted advertising campaigns with specific photographs.