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Alternative perspectives on marketing and the place brand

Dominic Medway (Manchester Business School, Marketing Group, The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK)
Gary Warnaby (University of Liverpool Management School, Liverpool, UK)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 30 May 2008




This paper aims to consider the role of demarketing in the specific context of the marketing of places, and to introduce a typology of place demarketing and related place marketing activity.


Following a review of the extant literature on place marketing and branding, place image and demarketing, the paper outlines a number of different types of place demarketing and more unusual place marketing strategies, with examples of each.


The marketing of places has grown in scale and importance, both as a practice and as an area of academic research, as places have had to become more entrepreneurial in an ever‐increasing competitive environment. Places are increasingly conceptualised as brands to be marketed, and a key emphasis of such activity is the creation of an attractive place image and/or the dilution of negative place images. This is reinforced in the academic literature. Counter to this “conventional wisdom”, this article conceptualises various types of place demarketing activity and related place marketing activities; namely “passive place demarketing”, “informational place demarketing”, “crisis place demarketing”, and also “perverse place marketing” and “dark place marketing”.


This paper provides a unique counter to the “conventional wisdom” of place marketing by introducing the concept of place demarketing and perverse and dark place marketing which more explicitly accentuate the negative, rather than accentuating the positive which is the norm in this marketing context. A typology of such activities is introduced and the implications for place brands are considered.



Medway, D. and Warnaby, G. (2008), "Alternative perspectives on marketing and the place brand", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 42 No. 5/6, pp. 641-653.



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Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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