Writing Advertising: the Production of Relationships in Historical Review

Timothy de Waal Malefyt


This article examines a range of writings on advertising. It shows that advertising has been written about as instrumental to an emerging capitalistic market, touted as a flamboyant lifestyle in autobiographical tales of charismatic advertising leaders, depicted as a coercive tool of manipulation for creating false desires in consumers, and analyzed for its complex social and political relations among its internal divisions and suppliers. I argue that the many ways advertising is written about reveal an ever-changing structural alignment within advertising itself, in what Pierre Bourdieu (1993) calls a field of strategic relations and possibles. In this, advertising, as well as the writing about advertising, is shown from a shifting ‘production of relations’ relative to economic, political, social and self-intended issues. The article concludes with possible future directions that writings on advertising will take.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22439/jba.v1i2.3942

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ISSN: 2245-4217

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