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Social media and international advertising: theoretical challenges and future directions

Shintaro Okazaki (Department of Finance & Marketing Research, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain)
Charles R. Taylor (Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania, USA)

International Marketing Review

ISSN: 0265-1335

Article publication date: 15 February 2013




The primary aim of this article is to identify theoretical foundations that can be used in research on social media in the context of international advertising research. An additional objective is to identify future research directions for theory building in this research area.


The article draws on the extant literature to identify three key theoretical foundations that can be used in research on advertising in media from an advertising perspective: networking capability; image transferability; and personal extensibility. For each of these perspectives, the current state of knowledge, theoretical challenges, and future research directions are summarized.


The three key theoretical perspectives (networking capability, image transferability, and personal extensibility) provide strong potential for better understanding the advantages and disadvantages of social media use for advertisers. They are also useful for identifying important research gaps that need to be filled in the future.

Research limitations/implications

Research on social media advertising in an international context is still in its infancy, and needs further attention. As few cross‐cultural studies have been conducted, the theories and their application will likely evolve in the future.


A review and conceptual framework pertaining to theoretical perspective used in social media research in an international advertising context has been practically non‐existent. Thus, this article is designed to serve as a solid starting point for future research endeavors.



Okazaki, S. and Taylor, C.R. (2013), "Social media and international advertising: theoretical challenges and future directions", International Marketing Review, Vol. 30 No. 1, pp. 56-71.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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