An exploration of marketing's impacts on society: A perspective linked to democracy

Katherine E. Jocz, John A. Quelch

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The authors propose a political theory perspective for examining the impact of the modern aggregate marketing system on consumer welfare and society. Specifically, they suggest that the benefits marketing delivers to consumers are similar to the conditions required for representative democracy. This perspective encompasses a broader range of benefits than is usually considered in the marketing literature and could provide a possible template for evaluating marketing actions. Viewing marketing as democratic is consistent with the historical evolution of marketing and with existing definitions of marketing. Linking marketing to political science begins to connect individual-level outcomes with societal outcomes. The approach also lends itself to policy discussions and further research on the relationships among the three primary actors in the marketing system: consumers, marketers, and government. It raises several questions about optimal marketing systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)202-206
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Public Policy and Marketing
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Consumer welfare
  • Definitions of marketing
  • Macromarketing
  • Marketing and democracy
  • Marketing and society

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing


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