The Media & Communications in Australia

By Stuart Cunningham; Graeme Turner | Go to book overview

14
Advertising
John Sinclair

Advertising is essential to the look and feel of modern societies. Corporate brand names on neon signs, posters and billboards define the urban landscape, while the commercial mass media dominate everyday social communication and popular culture with their information, entertainment and advertisements. In their images and phrases, these advertisements give public form to changing social desires, moods and ideals: they are the official art of modern capitalist society (Williams 1980, p 184). Because of its pervasive presence and provocative appeals, advertising presents a fertile field of concerns for social critics, reformers and theorists, but it is important to understand the industry in a wider perspective.

Advertising, while not a medium of communication in itself, historically is the force which sustains all commercial media. More than just providing the main source of income for media owners, advertising gives the commercial media their characteristic look and sound, and orients the range of entertainment and information which the media offer us towards those audiences which advertisers want to reach. Advertising is thus a cultural industry which uses the media to connect the producers of consumer goods and services with potential markets. Advertising at its most basic is a form of marketing, integrated with the manufacturing-marketing-media complex of modern societies. Advertising is just the most visible end of this whole marketing operation (Caro 1981, p 5).

The way this institutional complex works is that manufacturers, and also service industries such as retailers and banks, buy time from the broadcast media in the form of ‘spots’ for commercials, or page space for advertising in print media. In practice, this is usually done through an advertising agency. The selection of the medium and the schedule or position bought will depend on the size of the budget and the prospective size and type of market for the advertiser's

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The Media & Communications in Australia
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents v
  • Tables and Figures vii
  • Abbreviations ix
  • Contributors xiii
  • Preface xvii
  • Part One - Introduction *
  • 1 - The Media and Communications in Australia Today 3
  • Part Two - Approaches *
  • 2 - Media and Communications: Theoretical Traditions 23
  • 3 - Political Economy and News 35
  • 4 - Policy 48
  • 5 - Textual Analysis 62
  • 6 - Representation 72
  • 7 - Audiences 85
  • Part Three - Industries *
  • 8 - The Press 101
  • Notes 115
  • 9 - Telecommunications and the New Economy 117
  • 10 - Radio 133
  • 11 - Film and Video 152
  • 12 - Television and Pay TV 173
  • Notes 186
  • 13 - Magazines 188
  • Notes 199
  • 14 - Advertising 200
  • 15 - Public Relations 217
  • 16 - Popular Music 226
  • 17 - The Internet and Online Communication 244
  • 18 - Video and Computer Gaming 258
  • Part Four - Issues *
  • 19 - Media Ethics After ‘Cash for Comment’ 277
  • 20 - New Media and New Audiences 293
  • 21 - Youth Media 304
  • 22 - The Future of Journalism 320
  • 23 - The Future of Public Broadcasting 330
  • Reference 344
  • Index 370
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