Marketing (as) Rhetoric: paradigms, provocations, and perspectives

Stephen Brown, Chris Hackley, Shelby D. Hunt, Charles Marsh, Nicholas O’Shaughnessy, Barbara J. Phillips, David Tonks, Chris Miles, Tomas Nilsson

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

6 Scopus citations


In this collection of short, invited essays on the topic of marketing (as) rhetoric we deal with a variety of issues that demonstrate the centrality of rhetoric and rhetorical considerations to the pursuit of marketing scholarship, research and practice. Stephen Brown examines the enduring rhetorical power of the 4Ps; Chris Hackley argues for the critical power of rhetorical orientations in marketing scholarship but cautions us on the need to work harder in conceptually connecting rhetorical theory and modern marketing frameworks; Shelby Hunt explains how rhetorical processes are incorporated in his inductive realist model of theory generation, using one of his most successful publications as an illustration; Charles Marsh demonstrates what Isocrates’ broad rhetorical project has to teach us about the importance of reputation cultivation in modern marketing; Nicholas O’Shaughnessy uses an analysis of Trump’s discourse to argue that political marketing as it is currently conceived is ill-equipped to engage effectively with the rhetorical force of Trump’s ‘unmarketing’; Barbara Phillips uses Vygotsky’s work on imagination to investigate the important of pleasure and play in advertising rhetoric; and finally, David Tonks, who in many ways started it all, reiterates the need for marketers to recognise the strength of the relationship between marketing and persuasion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1336-1378
Number of pages43
JournalJournal of Marketing Management
Issue number15-16
StatePublished - Oct 13 2018


  • 4Ps
  • Marketing rhetoric
  • advertising
  • political marketing
  • reputation marketing
  • resource-advantage theory


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