France

Date of publication: June 15, 1980

Author: Dominique Leger

Abstract:

Advertising is designed to communicate with subjects, not objects. It is transmitted by the mass-media, which technology has placed at the disposal of mankind to "socialize" communication. These two obvious facts mean that advertising is naturally more closely connected with the social than with the exact sciences. But advertising is an instrument of business firms and must conform to economic logic and rational choice. There is an open contradiction here, which is perfectly illustrated the development of media research and practice in France during the last decade. The media profession has been dominated by the debate between quantity, which can be measured, and quality, which is a matter of subjective appreciation. We shall analyse the attitudes of the two "schools of thought", as reflected in both research and practice, under the following two headings: - Part 1: Measure and exaggeration (the early Seventies) - Part 2: A new sensitivity and obscurity (the middle Seventies). We shall end on an optimistic note: Technical mastery, increasingly serves the idea. This statement both reflects the feeling that media planning in France has reached a more mature stage and expresses the objectives that this profession should set for itself during the Nineteen-Eighties.

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