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Selling the consumer: the marketing of advertising space in Sweden, ca. 1880-1939
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economic History and International Relations.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4807-600X
2019 (English)In: Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, ISSN 1755-750X, E-ISSN 1755-7518, Vol. 11, no 2, p. 142-164Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose – By studying the marketing of advertising space, this paper aims to study how class, gender and region were portrayed in terms of economic considerations in adverts selling advertising space to potential advertisers. The paper studies how readers were discursively transformed into consumers in this material and how different consumer groups were depicted, divided and framed during Sweden’s early consumer culture. By doing so, the paper highlights the tensions between aiming at a mass audience, on the one hand, and striving to reach more and more specific consumer groups on the other hand.

Design/methodology/approach – Both qualitative and quantitative analyses are made in order to follow the changes of highlighted consumer groups in the ads. Intersectional analysis is used to see how notions of class and gender intersected during the analysed period.

Findings – The sectioning of the press is in the paper stressed as a prerequisite for market segmentation and the economic history of mass media is lifted as essential for understanding it. The gendering and classing of market segments were also based on how common interests were interpreted by political movements and their press forums. For surviving in the long run, however, the paper argues that the political press needed to commercialise their readerships to attract advertisers and survive economically.

Originality/value – The paper concludes that mass marketing and segmentation processes were in many senses parallel in the studied material. Statements of reaching all social classes diminished over time, but notions of the masses were prevalent in both the worker and the women categories. However, how advertisers choose between different media for their advertising campaigns or how they adopted different marketing methods towards different segments are beyond the scope of this paper.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 11, no 2, p. 142-164
Keywords [en]
Gender, Market segmentation, Sweden, Intersectionality, Marketing history, Media history
National Category
Economic History
Research subject
Economic History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-170728DOI: 10.1108/JHRM-10-2017-0062ISI: 000477650900001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-170728DiVA, id: diva2:1337706
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, dnr 2011-0496Available from: 2019-07-16 Created: 2019-07-16 Last updated: 2019-08-19Bibliographically approved

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