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Advertising Explorations

Last issue expanded horizons, and this issue further explores them: our first and last pieces focus on academic progress, while the middle two document changes in the marketing landscape.

In “The Intertextuality of Works of Art in Advertising,” Eduardo Cintra Torres walks us through the extensive references to the art world in the composition of advertisements. Setting out the perimeters of intertextuality, Torres indicates how these seemingly straightforward commercial messages are, in fact, embedded in a complex act of reading that spans far beyond the realm of billboards and magazines. The postmodern consumer, then, is an adept at deriving meaning beyond the surface of a text—a skill the creators of advertisements bank on.

In a thought-provoking essay, Adam Peruta, Scott Hamula, and Diane Gayeski review the challenges of branding higher education institutions. As the education sector is evolving to become an extremely competitive market, so do marketing efforts become more central to institutional operations. But when pedagogy interfaces with business pressures, what are the central questions a university must ask itself? The authors comment on insights gathered across 22 institutions.

Linda M. Scott sits down with Amy-Willard Cross for an interview on the Buy app Index, which provides a company index for women friendliness. The app would allow women to gauge which companies to support and which to avoid, based on their gender equity. Cross and Scott discuss the origins of the app, its revolutionary potential for consumers and for women, its methodology, and the challenges of becoming profitable and, as a consequence, sustainable.

Finally, Scott turns her analytical eye to Holly Grout’s The Force of Beauty: Transforming French Ideas of Femininity and exposes the publication’s merits and shortcomings. Though backed with thorough archival research and speckled with suggestive findings, the book has shortcomings. Scott regrets that the author did not develop a more tantalising thesis and instead settled to frame her arguments within a too-often flawed history of the interaction between women, advertising, and the “beauty business.” The review doubles as a manifesto for the reinvigoration of academia, free from the constraints of a stifling research climate.

Linda M. Scott
Editor

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