Media buying

The new power of advertising

Authored by: Joseph Turow

The Routledge Companion to Advertising and Promotional Culture

Print publication date:  March  2013
Online publication date:  February  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415888011
eBook ISBN: 9780203071434
Adobe ISBN: 9781135095574


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Most people likely think of advertising in terms of its most visible manifestation, the persuasive message. Often lost in discussion of the ads is the advertising industry's major role as a media support system. That is, advertising involves payment of a media firm (a particular magazine, TV network, or website) in return for the right to reach the medium's audience members with persuasive messages. This process provides core funding of many media, including digital media, in the United States and elsewhere. Central to this work is a sector of the advertising business called media planning and buying (media buying, for short), which revolves around the choice of media for an ad campaign and the provision of funds to pay for the placement. Academics who study advertising typically overlook media buying. Even critical media scholarship that touches on the economics of the ad business (for example Bagdikian 2004; Smythe 1977) rarely includes much detail about media buying.

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