In the twenty-first century, promotion is everywhere and everything has become promotable: goods, services, people, organisations, ideas, nations, cultures, pasts and futures. But where is this promotional ubiquity in modern times taking us and how are we to assess the changes it is bringing?
Over the course of a century, ad hoc promotional practices became ‘professionalised’ and systemised on a wider scale. Individuals, organisations and public institutions, in turn, have come to internalise these promotional practices and discourses.
Techniques developed to sell all manner of everyday goods to consumers are now reproduced in many areas of society beyond commodities markets.
Popular culture, news and information, politics, government, finance, economies, charities and interest groups, markets and businesses, have all been reshaped in the cause of promotion. Individuals, in both their personal and working lives, have become more self-promotional.
Such developments have wider implications for society, culture, market economies and democracies. Promotional Cultures documents many of these changes, offers a range of perspectives with which to evaluate them, and explores where their wider implications.
Aeron Davis is professor of political communication at Goldsmiths, University of London.