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Gently Nudging or Strongly Persuasive? How Agencies View Advertising-Abstract
chapterposted on 2023-02-03, 02:19 authored by Mike Ewing, J P Jones, A Money, P Samouel
Two opposing schools of thought on how advertising works have emerged. One, known as the ‘strong theory’, holds that advertising plays a centrally important part in the economic system of a country and is therefore, a formidable market force. This view is generally associated with North American scholars and practitioners. An opposing view is that advertising is a rather weaker force, capable only of gently nudging or reminding consumers, rather than actually persuading them. To explore these two perspectives empirically, this article reports on a study of Australian agency personnel. Findings suggest that opinion overall is more weighted towards the strong than the weak theory, particularly among creative personnel. However, educational background/field of study, age and agency experience play significant roles in determining a practitioner’s theoretical orientation. Business faculty graduates are more inclined towards the weak theory, while mass communications, journalism and art school graduates lean in the direction of the strong theory. Furthermore, younger practitioners, and those with less than 7 years’ agency experience, are more inclined towards the strong theory, but as they age and gain more experience, they tend to gravitate towards the weak theory.