During what was once considered the “golden age of radio," from roughly the late 1920s until the late 1940s, advertising agencies were the most important source of radio entertainment. Most nationally broadcast programs, on network radio, were created, produced, written, and/or managed by advertising agencies.
For those old enough, you might remember something like Kraft Music Hall, or Maxwell House Showboat.
When television came along, again it was the advertising agencies that produced and drove the entertainment decisions and production. If you’ve been watching Mad Men, you’ve seen the evolution of this. It’s funny how today, in some ways, we seem to be coming back full circle, to this old notion of “branded programming.”