Humphrey McQueen on Media

The origins of our future

Humphrey McQueen
My treatment of global developments since the 1870s can be introduced by sketching developments in my own understanding. In writing Australia’s Media Monopolies, I proposed two reasons for taking advertising as the key link between capitalism and the mass media.

First, advertising stimulates the demand for commodities. Secondly, advertisers package audiences to sell to retailers. In attempting to revise Australia’s Media Monopolies, I recognised that the mass media were only a delivery system for one element within the sales effort. Far from advertising’s being the key link, it is only ‘a tiny, tiny part of marketing’.[8] I came to see mass marketing as a matrix connecting production with consumption through retail credit (hire purchase and cards), merchandising (department and chain stores), and the movement of goods (air freight) or of consumers (drive-ins)…………

my investigations tracked across a variety of firms. Many of the comparisons are with other mass marketeers, including Gillette, McDonald’s, Proctor & Gamble, Rowntrees and Sears. Reference is also made to heavier manufacturers, General Electric, General Motors and Standard Oil; to financiers such as the House of Morgan; and to knowledge managers, IBM and Microsoft. The context helps us to distinguish the forces that impinge on all firms from the practices peculiar to Coca-Cola…………..

This book is not a manifesto of what should be done. Rather, it is a reminder of what we are up against. Thus equipped, our effort to avert catastrophe will become even more productive.


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