Advertising, once seen as 'the official art of capitalist society' is an increasingly commonplace component of a characteristically promotional culture. Iain MacRury's Advertising offers the means to explore and evaluate this transition with an introduction to advertising for the contemporary reader.

Advertisingprovides a clear and easy guide to a changing cultural and commercial genre. It explores how advertising can be studied as a cultural industry, and as a sign system, and how adverts and the reception of adverts can be considered drawing on approaches from literary criticism, structuralism, post-structuralism, psychoanalysis and ethnography.

Written in an accessible and interesting style, Advertisingis the ideal introductory book for students of media, communication and journalism.


There can be no doubt that communications pervade contemporary social life. the audio-visual media, print and other communication technologies play major parts in modern human existence, mediating diverse interactions between people. Moreover, they are numerous, heterogeneous, and multi-faceted.

Equally, there can be no doubt that communications are dynamic and ever-changing, constantly reacting to economic and popular forces. Communicative genres and modes that we take for granted because they are seemingly omnipresent—news, advertising, film, radio, television, fashion, the book—have undergone alarming sea changes in recent years. They have also been supplemented and reinvigorated by new media, new textualities, new relations of production and new audiences.

The study of communications, then, cannot afford to stand still. Although communications study as a discipline is relatively recent in its origin, it has continued to develop in recognisable ways, embracing new perspectives, transforming old ones, and responding to – and sometimes influencing – changes in the media landscape.

This series of books is designed to present developments in contemporary media. It focuses on the analysis of textualities, offering an up-to-date assessment of current communications practice. the emphasis of the books is on the kind of communications which constitute the modern media and the theoretical tools which are needed to understand them. Such tools may include semiotics (including social semiotics and semiology), discourse theory, post-structuralism, post-colonialism, queer theory, gender analysis, political economy, liberal pluralism, positivism . . .

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