Module Details

SC519-7-AU-CO: Advertising: Commerce And Creativity

Year: 2017/18
Department: Sociology
Essex credit: 20
ECTS credit: 10
Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students: Yes
Full Year Module Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students for a Single Term: No
Outside Option: No

Supervisor: Professor Sean Nixon
Teaching Staff: Professor Sean Nixon
Contact details: Michele Hall, Graduate Administrator, Telephone 01206 873051, Email:

Module is taught during the following terms
Autumn Spring Summer

Module Description

The module forms one of the core components for the MA Advertising, Marketing and the Media. It explores the history of the service advertising agency in Britain and North America and the influence of this organisational model in Australia and India. To this end, the module seeks to develop an international and comparative analysis of advertising across these key societies. The module reflects on the economics of advertising, how advertising plays a role in the commercial subsidy of the media and the challenge posed by the rise of international and global advertising and the arrival of new media technologies and delivery systems.
Alongside addressing the structures of the international advertising industry, the module also explores the history of advertising expertise and how advertising has sought to understand the consumer. Cutting across the historical and empirical focus of the module there will be a reflection on how advertising as an industry and practice might be theorized and a reflection on the links between advertising and the wider creative industries.

Learning and Teaching Methods

taught as a two hour seminar


100 per cent Coursework Mark


1 Research Report of 1, 500 words 1 essay of up to 3,000-3,500 words


  • T. J Lears Fables of Abundance, a cultural history of American advertising, 1994
  • C. Lury Branding, the logos of the cultural economy, 2005
  • N. Klein No Logo,, 2000
  • L. Cohen A Consumer's Republic, the politics of mass consumption in post-war America, 2003
  • D. HorowitzAnxieties of Affluence, Critiques of American Consumer Culture, , 1939-1979, 2003
  • V. de Grazia Irresistable Empire, 2005
  • S. Nixon Advertising Cultures, 2003
  • S. Nixon Hard Sell: Advertising, Affluence and Trans-Atlantic Relations circa 1951-69, 2012

Further information