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Integrated communications: from one look to normative consistency

Simon Torp (Department of Marketing and Management, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark)

Corporate Communications: An International Journal

ISSN: 1356-3289

Article publication date: 8 May 2009



The purpose of this paper is to show the diversity within integrated communication and to demonstrate how its scope has been broadened to include virtually everything an organization says and does and everyone who is affected by the organization's existence and activities. In the most ambitious interpretations of the concept the integration endeavour extends from the external integration of visual design to the internal integration of the organization's culture and “soul”.


The paper is based on a critical and thematic reading of the integrated marketing communication (IMC) field. The review covers both theorists and practitioners and those who are in between: theoretical practitioners and practical theorists, since all parties contribute to the creation of the field and the phenomenon that are the object of analysis in this paper. The focus is on semantic and conceptual development in relation to the range and scope of integrated communication.


The ideal of integration in connection with marketing communication is not new. The analysis shows that the IMC field is marked by great diversity and disagreement. The ideal scope of integration has expanded. An attempt is made to “map” various approaches and perspectives within the IMC field, based on the distinctions between opponents versus advocates and theoretical versus non‐theoretical.

Research limitations/implications

The paper makes the claim that in many interpretations of the concept integrated communication is focused on control. It does not seek to demonstrate how more dialogical perspectives might be developed within the framework of integrated communication.


The focus in this paper is on the semantic and conceptual development in relation to the range and scope of integrated communication. It usefully asks, how far does the organization's effort at integration extend, and how deeply is it supposed to enter the individual's life: what, in short, is the extent of integrated communication's intervention and influence and outreach.



Torp, S. (2009), "Integrated communications: from one look to normative consistency", Corporate Communications: An International Journal, Vol. 14 No. 2, pp. 190-206.



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