Television advertising: Texts, political economy, and ideology

Matthew P. McAllister, Lars Stoltzfus-Brown

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


This chapter reviews many of the key ideas of advertising as texts and as a central element in the political economy of television, focusing especially on points raised by the extensive critical literature on television commercials. It highlights how ads as texts and financing influence the ideological messages on television - what particular social groups, institutions and practices are portrayed as winners and losers; and what cultural ideas are promoted or suppressed. Although examples from many countries are discussed, the chapter focuses on research about US television advertising, in many ways the archetype broadcast advertising model that set the bar a gaudily decorated and corrosive bar, admittedly for the rest of the world’s commercial television systems. It explores two themes raised by television advertising critics: the degree to which television commercials fetishize the commodity and commercial form, and the ideological implications of representation in television ads.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationA Companion to Television
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781119269465
ISBN (Print)9781119269434
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities


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