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Breaking Up America: Advertisers and the New Media World Paperback – December 15, 1998

ISBN-13: 978-0226817507 ISBN-10: 0226817504 Edition: New edition

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Now that Americans are dividing up into militias and staking out a few acres of inviolable homeland, perhaps it's time to ask how the country came to be so deeply fragmented. Joseph Turow points to the ways that the techniques of "target marketing" by advertising agencies exploited and exacerbated existing fissures in U.S. society. Turow is too subtle a thinker to believe that advertising is responsible for the differences between people, but he makes a strong case that the way those differences have been used to distinguish different markets for different products has, simply by defining and presenting various subcultures, furthered those differences. This vicious cycle of targeting and producing target markets is analyzed both historically and politically to show the difficult effects of assuming that Americans are not united, except against each other. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press; New edition edition (December 15, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226817504
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226817507
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,045,335 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Seiche on January 28, 1999
Format: Paperback
Great book. Actually, it was recommended by Amazon as I was unfamiliar with the author, but very interested in the topic. If you are in media, communications or marketing this book analyzes the industry in a very granular way - like looking under the hood. However, Turow does not get so lost in detail, he brings the big picture into focus suggesting the cultural implications of market segmentation, database marketing, media audience packaging and the rise of niche content media like cable TV, magazines and of course the Internet. Transient echoes of Marshall MacLuhan and Tony Shwartz's concept of narcissism. There's passive reference to Peppers & Rodgers concept of image tribes - what happens when everyone's information and entertainment is personalized or filtered by agents, i.e. media effectively throwing up a mirror? Great for marketers, but it does have major socio-political implications. Turow has done a great deal of primary research interviewing people from all aspects of the business. 100% all beef.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michael Thomas on December 1, 2005
Format: Paperback
I recently read this book. It has a great history of the advertising agency. Many of the ways in which the author thinks shed light on the recent history of advertising. A few of the chapters in the second half of the book are outdated now, since it was predicting the future. For instance, the predictions of the internet "newsgroups" will be big for establishing communities of users, could be converted into blogs. The last chapter is good on the tribalism of advertising. I would suggest the first few chapters and the last chapter to anyone who wants to understand what is going on and will continue for the next decade or so as advertising changes to favor the consumer.
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