Advertising is often used to illustrate popular and academic debates about cultural and economic life. This book reviews cultural and sociological approaches to advertising and, using historical evidence, demonstrates that a rethink of the analysis of advertising is long overdue. Liz McFall surveys dominant and problematic tendencies within the current discourse. This book offers a thorough review of the literature and also introduces fresh empirical evidence. Advertising: A Cultural Economy uses a historical study of advertising to regain a sense of how it has been patterned, not by the `epoch', but by the interaction of institutional, organisational and technological forces.
Chapter 2: The Persuasive Subject of Advertising
The Persuasive Subject of Advertising
In spite of the impact that semiotic analysis had across the academy, some of the best known and most influential critical accounts of advertising produced since the 1980s took a quite different approach. Probably the most significant difference was a shift away from an exclusive reliance on the text as the object of analysis towards a more generalised focus, which also encompassed the institutional position and historical development of the industry. The primary aim of this chapter is to consider the types of explanations of advertising that accounts in this vein have offered, and in particular to explore how the relationship between advertising, people and objects is characterised. This relationship is widely understood to have shifted ...