Advertising first became established as a communication activity in the 1850s, with the advent of the first department stores. Since the 1980s, marketing has shifted the focus of communication from the product to the symbolic power of the brand. It is this shift from information to symbol, where meaningfulness is more important than reality, that accounts, in part, for the loss of confidence in advertising that has intensified since 2008, when purchasing power in France began to decline. Marketing thus appears to be far less manipulative than the anti-advertising activists believe, since the adverts designed by communication professionals appear to fail in 40 to 60% of cases.
- room for manœuvre
- transsubstantiation in advertising