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What is an advert? : a sociological perspective on marketing media

Cluley, Robert; Nixon, Elizabeth


Robert Cluley


This paper draws on a conceptual vocabulary developed in science and technology studies to advance a sociological theory of objects in marketing. Analysing a single advertising medium, it shows that marketing objects can exist simultaneously in multiple forms as physical artefacts, political decisions, legal entities and economic values. Armed with this understanding, the paper explores the ability of actors to manipulate these realities in their favour and investigates how it is possible to turn public space on a city street into an advertising object. Using John Law's notion of fractional objects, the paper proposes an analytic framework to open up new objects for critical intervention and reflection.


Cluley, R., & Nixon, E. (2019). What is an advert? : a sociological perspective on marketing media. Marketing Theory, 19(4), 405-423.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 27, 2019
Online Publication Date Jun 24, 2019
Publication Date Jun 24, 2019
Deposit Date Apr 29, 2019
Publicly Available Date Apr 29, 2019
Journal Marketing Theory
Print ISSN 1470-5931
Electronic ISSN 1741-301X
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 19
Issue 4
Article Number 147059311985664
Pages 405-423
Keywords Advertising; fractional object; media; outdoor; science and technology studies; social studies of marketing; telephone box
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What Is An Advert A Sociological Perspective On Marketing Media (320 Kb)

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