"Group taking afternoon tea, 1948."
© Photographic Advertising/NMeM / Science & Society
"This image of cosy domesticity is an example of the complex sets used by Photographic Advertising. Their studios contained a series of room sets and movable props that recur in a number of photographs. Photographic Advertising Limited, founded in 1926, 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. Their 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. "