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No Joke: Understanding Public Sentiment Toward Selling and Salespeople Through Cartoon Analysis

Wiid, Ria, Grant, P.S., Mills, A.J. and Pitt, L.F. (2016) No Joke: Understanding Public Sentiment Toward Selling and Salespeople Through Cartoon Analysis. Marketing Theory, 16 (2). pp. 171-193. ISSN Print 1470-5931 Online 1741-301X

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Abstract

Unflattering representations of salesmanship in mass media exist in abundance. In order to gauge the depiction of selling in mass media, this article explores the nature and public perceptions of salesmanship using editorial cartoons. A theory of cartooning suggests that editorial cartoons reflect public sentiment toward events and issues and therefore provide a useful way of measuring and tracking such sentiment over time. The criteria of narrative, location, binary struggle, normative transference, and metaphor were used as a framework to analyze 286 cartoons over a 30-year period from 1983 to 2013. The results suggest that while representations of the characteristics and behaviors of salespeople shifted very little across time periods, changes in public perceptions of seller–buyer conflict, the role of the customer, and selling techniques were observed, thus indicating that cartoons are sensitive enough to measure the portrayal of selling.

Item Type: Article
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Uncontrolled Keywords: cartoon analysis, salesforce, sales manager, salesmanship, selling, stereotypes
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Academic Departments > Worcester Business School
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Depositing User: Ria Wiid
Date Deposited: 02 Aug 2016 08:25
Last Modified: 02 Aug 2016 08:25
URI: https://eprints.worc.ac.uk/id/eprint/4712

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