which word is correct to be used in the sentence?- advertising or advertisement? And why may I ask?

A great deal of advertising/advertisement is now done as we surf the internet

When I checked the oxford advanced dictionary, both words (advertising & advertisement) can have meanings that refer to the 'activity of advertising'.So that means both can be right in the above sentence. But a Cambridge textbook says its advertising; not advertisement. And the reason is not given! Why? Can anyone help out?


Advertising is the general concept of marketing through media sources. An advertisement is a specific example of this kind of marketing.

My marketing manager says we should advertise more in the local newspaper

My marketing manager says we should post more advertisements in the local newspaper.

So either of these is correct:

There's a lot of advertising on the web (the general concept)

There are a lot of advertisements on the web. (specific examples of the concept)

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  • They're pretty much interchangeable in AmE, but singular advertisement (referring to the general practice of publicizing products and services) seems to have enjoyed a lot more currency in the mid 20th century than it has now. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Oct 17 '18 at 20:02

In American English, advertisement nowadays refers abstractly to the practice of publicizing products and services:

Advertisement of goods and services is necessary when word-of-mouth would prove ineffective.

and advertising refers either to the business of publicizing products and services:

She was looking for a job in advertising.

or to ads collectively:

We decided to monetize the online version of the newspaper by subjecting visitors to lots of advertising. It was either that, or a paywall.

In the mid 20th century, countable advertisement was just the long form of today's ad.

There were advertisements for cigarettes in most popular magazines.

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