A public notice promoting the sale of a certain item is called an advertisement. The word is often shortened to ad. They're on TV, on the radio, online, in the paper — you can't even escape advertisements at the movies.

Although advertisements are usually meant to persuade, they aren't always just for selling goods. They're a great way to get the word out about just about anything. You can place an advertisement to (among other things) look for your long-lost sister, hire an employee, or announce a local dance. Even way back in the 1600s, the British were posting advertisements for trips to a newfound place called "Virginia."

Definitions of advertisement

n a public promotion of some product or service

ad, advert, advertising, advertizement, advertizing
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direct mail
advertising sent directly to prospective customers via the mail
preview, prevue, trailer
an advertisement consisting of short scenes from a motion picture that will appear in the near future
an advertisement that is written and presented in the style of an editorial or journalistic report
an advertisement that is sent by mail
newspaper ad, newspaper advertisement
a printed advertisement that is published in a newspaper
commercial, commercial message
a commercially sponsored ad on radio or television
bill, broadsheet, broadside, circular, flier, flyer, handbill, throwaway
an advertisement (usually printed on a page or in a leaflet) intended for wide distribution
an advertisement that offers something free in order to arouse customers' interest
top billing
the advertisement of a star's name at the top of a theatrical poster
classified, classified ad, classified advertisement
a short ad in a newspaper or magazine (usually in small print) and appearing along with other ads of the same type
infomercial, informercial
a television commercial presented in the form of a short documentary
an advertising circular that is enclosed with other material and (usually) sent by mail
Type of:
packaging, promotion, promotional material, publicity
a message issued in behalf of some product or cause or idea or person or institution

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