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Advertising executives as modern men: Masculinity and the UK advertising industry in the 1980s

Nixon, S (2013) 'Advertising executives as modern men: Masculinity and the UK advertising industry in the 1980s.' In: UNSPECIFIED, (ed.) Buy This Book: Studies in Advertising and Consumption. UNSPECIFIED, 103 - 119. ISBN 9780415141321, 041514132X

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The moment of WPP's ascendancy and its underlining of London's pivotal position in the international advertising and marketing services industry, however, coincided with the first signs of the unravelling of the boom in advertising expenditure in the UK and the years of uninterrupted growth for the industry. This boom had seen year-on-year increases of 11.4 per cent in 1986, 9.9 per cent in 1987,15 per cent in 1988 and 13 per cent in 1989, with advertising expenditure rising from 1.1 per cent of GDP in 1980 to 1.6 per cent in 1988.2 The fifth anniversary of the Ogilvy Group acquisition reminds us of how difficult the intervening years have been for WPP and for the UK industry more generally. The years of acquisition and expansion, built on both the expanding advertising revenue and a sympathetic attitude towards the agencies sector from City institutions, were replaced by a period of recession and rationalisation with advertising expenditure dropping to 1.32 per cent of GDP in 1993 and the industry shedding 5,000 jobs.' The particularly acute difficulties of WPP through these five years, however, should not be allowed to obscure the fact that it has continued to articulate a coherent strategy in response to some deep-seated and ongoing shifts within the fields of advertising and marketing services; shifts which have their roots not in the recession of the early 1990s, but in the boom years of the UK industry." Drawing on a strategy of organisational development most associated with Saatchi and Saatchi, WPP's aggregation of a global network of advertising and marketing services and the construction of its portfolio around a diverse range of advertising, marketing and media services (particularly in belowthe-line services) remains exemplary of one influential type of response to the shifts in the nature of the advertising business."

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology, Department of
Depositing User: Elena Pupaza
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2017 16:04
Last Modified: 30 Mar 2021 15:15

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