Can we believe the claims that marketers make? Does truth in marketing matter? Apparently not…
Despite the role of regulators, marketing claims are often ruled to be misleading, deceptive or incomplete. Surprisingly, scholars of marketing ethics have devoted little time to this key issue. This may be because although key codes of marketing conduct insist on truthful communications, there is only limited understanding of what truthfulness itself actually entails.
This innovative book develops a theory of truth in marketing and discusses the implications for consumers, marketing professionals and policymakers. Focusing on the problem of truth in marketing, it analyses the theory of truth in marketing, and examines the wider significance of marketing truth for society. Using a wide selection of engaging global examples and cases to illustrate this fascinating analysis, this engaging book will provide a provocative read for all scholars and educators in marketing, marketing/business ethics and CSR.
Table of Contents
1. Specifying the Domain
1.1 The problem of truth in marketing
1.2 What is a theory of truth in marketing?
1.3 Constructs of meaning
1.4 Domain epistemology
1.5 Truth-values and truth measurement
1.6 Interpretation, truth and objectivity
2. The Classical Pragmatic Theory of Truth
2.1 The legacy of American pragmatism
2.2 The pragmatic maxim
2.3 Preliminary remarks on the pragmatic theory of truth
2.4 The pragmatic theory of truth
3. The Correspondence Criterion of Truth
3.1 Correspondence in historic context
3.2. The general correspondence theory of truth
3.3 Marketing specific truth-makers and functional claims
4. The Coherence Criterion of Truth
4.1 Key components of the coherence theory
4.2 Symbolic value and symbolic claims
4.3 Symbolic truth as internal and external coherence
4.4 The nature of coherence: inferential connectivity
5. The Instrumental Criterion of Truth
5.1 The general idea
5.2 Truth, segmentation and targeting
5.3 Alethic facilitation and ontological truth
5.4 Alethic responsibility
5.5 When is the consumer entitled to believe a behavioural claim?
5.6 A standard objection
6. Alethic Pluralism
6.1 The pluralistic nature of the theory of truth in marketing
6.2 Alethic pluralism and objectivity
6.3 Pluralism and the metaphysical concept of truth: <truth> versus <TRUTH>
6.4 Truth and normativity
Thomas Boysen Anker is lecturer at the University of Glasgow and holds a PhD in applied philosophy from the University of Copenhagen. His main research interest is business ethics. He is associate editor of European Management Journal and has published widely in international academic journals.
‘Although highly philosophical in nature, this scholarly text is essential reading for senior marketing practitioners, researchers and students. I thought I knew what truth was until I read this book, and while your head will hurt when you read it, it will be good for the world of marketing if you do. In this case the journey through abstract philosophy has concrete implications for the way marketers design their practices. Highly recommended reading (and re-reading).’ - Linda Brennan, Professor in the School of Media and Communication, RMIT University, Australia