The social construction of advertising : a discourse analytic approach to creative advertising development as a feature of marketing communications management
This thesis explores the creative development of advertising through a discourse analytic method. The 'creative development of advertising' refers here to the intra-agency process of developing advertising from client brief through planning, research, creative brief, design and execution. The thesis draws on a wide ranging literature review of research papers and popular texts to locate the study within marketing management as the superordinate field, and within marketing communications and advertising as the immediate domains. The main data gathering method is the dyadic depth interview, supplemented by observation in the field, informal primary data and agency archive material. The empirical focus is placed on a top five UK advertising agency, BMP DDB Needham, London. Transcribed interview data as text is subject to coding and categorised according to the 'interpretative repertoires' agency account team professionals draw upon to articulate and substantiate their positions and arguments, following well established discourse analytic procedure in discursive psychology. The empirical section argues that eight distinctive interpretative repertoires may be discerned from the data. These repertoires interact dynamically in agency discourse to circumscribe the social construction of advertising. The repertoires also act as resources from which account team members construct their professional identities and reproduce discursively proscribed power relations within the agency. The discussion explores the implications of the study for marketing management, marketing communications and related fields of research, theory and practice.