- Editorial Introduction
It is hard to believe, but Advertising & Society Quarterly's busy inaugural year has come to a close. But there is much more work ahead of us. In this first year as ASQ, the editors have continued to imagine how the journal can chart new territory in academic publishing. From having authors film an introduction to their research, to recording roundtables of academics and industry leaders, to capturing discussions between book authors and expert critics, ASQ's 2017 issues have sought to bring advertising and society research to life, now and for the future, through various digital tools.
Thus, it should be no surprise that ASQ's explorations in digital academic publishing have coincided with its first year's focus on how digital trends have impacted and changed advertising's roles in society, culture, history, and the economy. For much of this year's discussion of this "digital question," a common theme has emerged: many digital changes facing advertising today have historical parallels, and much of how advertising is evolving is yet to be seen. Even if we are unsure of what is to come, we can be certain that digital trends will continue to inform how we study, understand, and publish about advertising's place in society.
As a way to build the journal's future, ASQ held the first Advertising and Society Colloquium at Duke University on October 12 and 13. Gathered at this meeting were a couple of dozen scholars whose work centers on various aspects of advertising and society research. Participants discussed how to develop a scholarly society for advertising and society research, and how ASQ can be the journal to which such scholars turn to submit, share, and publish their work. In the coming years, ASQ plans to lay the groundwork for this networked community. We look forward to bringing together professors, archivists, and practitioners with diverse interests grounded in the study of advertising and society.
For this specific issue's digital focus, Katherine Sender presented a keynote paper at the Advertising and Society Colloquium at Duke. In this issue, Sender's published piece and recorded talk reveal how algorithms and precise targeting through digital marketing tools have drastically changed how advertisers reach specific members of a market, such as individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ). Sender questions the supposed liberating potential of automating and segmenting messages to various audiences through algorithms. She wonders where LGBTQ identity has gone with the collapse of non-digital gay spaces, such as gay bars and bookstores, and she ponders if the gay market (and the gay community more broadly) is "dead" with its being co-opted and stripped of its vitality through advertisers' and marketers' digital tools. Is the gay market dead? Or shall we proclaim, "Long live the gay market!"? Sender urges us to consider these questions as well as the potential and limits to using algorithms based on identities to sell products, services, and ideas.
Karen L. Mallia and Kasey Windels take up vital questions to assess the state of women in advertising today: How many women represent advertising's creative elite? How much have women represented creative leadership in advertising over time? By conducting an in-depth content analysis of women creative directors featured in Communication Arts Advertising Annual over four decades, Mallia and Windels reveal that women in creative roles have not been featured as much as their male counterparts. The findings press the industry and those training future advertisers to think of ways to encourage women to take on and continue in advanced creative roles, which might lead to more messages that can resonate with and be more respectful of girls and women who have historically been the principal target of advertisements.
In Part I of the Roundtable on Social Media and Advertising, various academic and industry participants met in San Francisco to discuss where, how, and why social media have become central to advertisers' work in the last fifteen years. Participants agreed that social media connect brands with everyday people. Further, when pressed to consider advertising's older forms of selling products and services, it was acknowledged that social connections have always played a role...