A Fateful Triangle? Tales of Art, Commerce, and Science from the Irish Advertising Field
Abstract

Abstract:

This paper examines the relations between art, commerce, and science in advertising production, and explores how these relations interact in the context of an Irish advertising agency. First, we develop a genealogy of art, commerce and science in advertising that reviews contemporary research perspectives on international advertising practice. We then outline a brief history of the Irish advertising industry, and report on the findings of discourse analytic interviews conducted with Irish advertising professionals. We present these findings as five "interpretative repertoires" which characterize the social process of advertising production in the Irish agency, and the relations between art, commerce and science, constructed within the interview accounts, as theorized from the data analysis. The findings indicate that the values of commerce and science are more dominant within the agency; art is discussed as a very distinct discipline by Irish advertising practitioners. The paper concludes by considering how the findings of the study enhance our understanding of the everyday nature of advertising work.