Comparative Summary on “The Corporate Politics of Sign Values” by Goldman and Papson and “Media in the Mediated Marketplace” by Leiss et al.
The chapter titled “The Corporate Politics of Sign Values” by Goldman and Papson (1996) and the chapter titled “Media in the Mediated Marketplace” by Leiss et al. (2005) both discuss how corporations and their advertising agencies attempt to better target consumers and sustain their interest toward advertisements. Goldman and Papson discuss how “corporate advertising” (1996: 216) and “legitimation ads” (1996: pg. 217) are used for this purpose while Leiss et al. (2005) discuss how various media and media institutions also work towards this purpose. Although the authors appear to focus on different items, the following themes are embedded within both their discussions: consumer appeal, niche markets, technology, and globalization (Goldman and Papson, 1996; Leiss et al., 2005). This essay compares the two chapters in their exploration of these themes and will conclude with my verdict on which chapter I believe makes a stronger case. Goldman and Papson begin by defining corporate advertising “as a catchall category that includes image advertising, identity advertising, and advocacy or issue advertising” (1996: 217). They then define legitimation ads as a “[subset] of corporate advertising [working to legitimize] corporate economic and political power [through their emphasis on] the social benefits of private profits…” (1996: 217). The authors explain that corporate advertising and legitimation ads collectively work to forge a meaningful, positive relationship between corporations and socially significant issues in order to project a positive, responsible, and trustworthy image for corporations that will better appeal to consumers (Goldman and Papson, 1996). For instance, legitimation ads may promote capitalist interests by hailing consumers as hard-working, patriotic citizens of America or incorporate themes of...
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