Control, Knowledge and Persuasive Power in Advertising Creativity: An Ethnographic Practice Theory Approach

Mahsa Ghaffari, Christopher Hackley, Zoe Lee

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This paper reports findings from an extended multi-method ethnographic study into the social practices of advertising creativity. The study was conducted in a major Iranian creative advertising agency that has many international clients and earns annual billings equivalent to more than $US100 million. Findings focus on three sets of overlapping aggregated social practices labelled Control Power, Knowledge Power and Persuasive Power that serve to work around tensions over creative output in order to accomplish the dual goals of creating good, effective work and persuading the client to buy in to the creative strategy. We conclude with implications for future practice and research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242-249
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Advertising
Issue number2
Early online date28 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019


  • Advertising
  • Ad agencies
  • Ethnography
  • Iranian advertising

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