International advertising standardization: policies and practices

Harris, Gregory (1993) International advertising standardization: policies and practices. Doctoral thesis, University of London: London Business School. OPEN ACCESS


This thesis investigates whether, and how, multinational companies standardize the advertising executions deployed in the various national markets in which they operate. The focus was on establishing how prevalent modified or partial forms of standardization are, relative to total adaptation or total standardization. A three stage research programme was designed which consisted of a questionnaire survey, company studies and telephone interviews. The sample for the questionnaire survey consisted of thirty-eight major advertising spending US and European multinationals. The study examined whether the sampled companies standardized a number of key executional elements for the advertising executions for one of their major brands in the EC markets. The study also investigated the extent to which these practices had changed over time; the motives behind their policies and the organizational processes used to develop and implement standardization. Some 68% of the sampled companies were found to standardize the given executions to some extent. Less than 20% of all those practising standardization, however, were found to totally standardize each element in every market. For the remaining companies, many permutations were found regarding which elements were standardized; the extent to which they were standardized and how these practices varied by market. The data pointed therefore towards the widespread practise of modified forms of standardization. Analysis of the longitudinal data revealed that the sampled companies were, against expectations, practising less executional standardization than they had been six years previously, thus indicating that the trend was not away from modified forms of standardization towards totally standardized executions, rather the reverse. In terms of the rationales behind the policies of those companies practising advertising standardization, it was found that the executives brought a wide ranging agenda to the decision making process and that organizational and process issues were more influential than had hitherto been established.

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Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subject Areas: Marketing
Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2022 11:35
Date of first compliant deposit: 25 Feb 2022
Subjects: Advertising
Quality control
Last Modified: 05 Mar 2022 04:31

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