Journal of Marketing Management, 1997, Vol 13, pp.651-663
This paper has two broad aims: to trace the theoretical development of political marketing and then demonstrate how these concepts can be used in the analysis of election campaigns. Electioneering is not the sole manifestation of marketing in politics but it is the most obvious, a point underlined by recent work addressing the prominent role now played by political marketing in a parliamentary democracy like Britain (Franklin 1994; Kavanagh 1995; Scammell 1995). Whilst much of this material understandably concentrates on the once neglected work of campaign practitioners, the more theoretical explorations of the intersection between marketing and politics have tended to appear in management journals (Shama 1976; Smith and Saunders 1990; Butler and Collins 1994). This paper intends to explore the relationship from a political science perspective.
Defining Political Marketing.
In their seminal article, Kotler and Levy (1969) argued that elections should be one of the new arenas of marketing interest: “Political contests remind us that candidates are marketed as well as soap.” However the earliest recorded use of the term “political marketing” did not appear in a formal management study but in the pioneering work of political scientist Stanley Kelley which charted the emergence of the professional campaign industry in the United States. Commenting on the activities of the first election consultancies, Kelley wrote:
“The team relies heavily but not entirely upon their own intuitive feel for providing political marketing conditions. They pride themselves on having “good average minds” that help them to see things as the average man sees them.” (Kelley 1956: 53)
In spite of the opposition from marketing purists those in sympathy with the 'broadening' thesis began to attempt to clarify, refine and... [continues]
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