This review of normative and descriptive advertising research studies concludes that the studies have resulted in few great ideas. In spite of a quantitatively impressive research tonnage, the studies are unsystematic, the methods are often weak in validity, and the results are often irrelevant to the problems of advertising.To improve the state of the art, more emphasis on theory building is necessary. In particular, more attention should be directed toward formulating appropriate “models of man” and toward developing meaningful categories of the functions played by advertising. In addition, advertising studies would benefit by more breadth in behaviour, more breadth in space, and more breadth in time.
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