In spite of the many cultural similarities between the United States and the United Kingdom, there are significant differences between American and British television advertising. Advertising content in the two countries is substantially different today, even though early British television adverts had a tendency to be made in the American style, and supported by American research methodologies, when television advertising was introduced into British culture in 1955 (Lannon, 1986). Although several differences in the two countries’ television advertising practices have been identified in previous research, this study focuses on one in particular: difference in ad content. This research sets out to discuss said differences in ad content and explores the motivations for these differences.
This discussion will examine specific media groups in two different societies and discuss their differences, contributing to developing an understanding of different kinds of media practices. Comparing advertising practices in the United States and United Kingdom is relevant for several reasons: because both countries are highly developed industrial consumer societies, consequently, the same categories of consumer products would be expected to appear in both countries; the British system of regulating TV advertising has been regarded superior to the American approach (Buell, 1977); the deep-seated and widespread belief in the United Kingdom that British culture and American culture are both individually based on different assumptions that are reflected in their respective advertising practices (Weinberger & Spotts, 1989a).
“Advertising – apart from its more or less hidden purposes – is a form of communication between a sender and a receiver of a message” (Borrelli, 2010). Advertising is deemed as the business of “bringing into notice; spec. by paid announcement in a printed journal, by prominent display of placards, etc” (Online... [continues]
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