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The politics of consumer data

Cluley, Robert


Robert Cluley


Data is key to marketing. But data is not a neutral thing. It is political. There are macro-politics that validate, motivate and justify the use of particular forms of data and micro-politics between consumers, marketing organizations and other cultural institutions who want control over data. This study examines these politics by analysing attempts to restrict how marketers could access digital consumer data for the purpose of targeted advertising. Adopting a science and technology studies perspective (STS), it concludes that caring for digital consumer data as a common resource is an important, ongoing and often unacknowledged aspect of contemporary marketing practice. It creates and maintains a market for marketing.


Cluley, R. (2020). The politics of consumer data. Marketing Theory, 20(1), 45-63.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 13, 2019
Online Publication Date May 9, 2019
Publication Date 2020-03
Deposit Date Feb 13, 2019
Publicly Available Date Feb 14, 2019
Journal Marketing Theory
Print ISSN 1470-5931
Electronic ISSN 1741-301X
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 20
Issue 1
Pages 45-63
Keywords Digital marketing; Do Not Track; Data; Power; Politics
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Copyright © 2019 by SAGE Publications


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