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Cross-Media Promotion

Jonathan Hardy

Cross-Media Promotion is the first book-length study of a defining feature of contemporary media, the promotion by media of their allied media interests. The book explores the range of forms of cross-promotion including synergistic marketing of mega-brands such as Harry Potter; promotional plugs in news media; repurposing media content, stars and brands across other media and outlets; product placement, and the integration of media content and advertising.
Incorporating specialist literature, yet written in a clear, accessible style, the book combines three areas of study: media industry practices, media policy, and media theory. It examines the dynamics of cross-media promotion across converging media, drawing on a range of examples from the United States and the United Kingdom. Synergy and intertextuality are explored alongside critical debates about the ‘problems’ of cross-promotion. The book also offers a critical evaluation of media policy responses from the late 1980s to the present, which the book argues, have failed to grapple with the problems of media power, market power and commercialism generated by intensifying cross-media promotion.
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4. Cross-Promotion in News Media



Cross-Promotion in News Media

Cross-media promotion in news media generates the most disquiet of all forms of cross-promotion. It may be a form of editorial-for-hire, undermining the independence and editorial integrity of news. The synergistic promotion of entertainment media in news programmes shrinks the space for other news content and undermines news values. However, a positive case can also be made for some forms of cross-promotion, especially as news media platforms proliferate. Cross-promoting news services and other ways of accessing news or cross-promoting a documentary programme that investigates public affairs issues in more detail may all be justified, not least in the context of declining audiences for news. This chapter then explores the dynamics and evolving forms of cross-promotion in news media and considers a range of critical perspectives. Cross-promotion in news media is bound up with two broader processes: convergence and commercialism. The first section outlines these themes before examining cross-promotional practices in news media.

Forms of Promotion

A useful starting point is to consider the promotional dimensions of media products. With the concept of ‘promotional reflexivity’ Wernick (1990) identifies self-promotion as an integral feature of mass media goods; ‘the product which [the media industries] have to advertise is a privileged site for the advertisement of itself’ (Wernick 1990:101). Newspaper mastheads and cover pages act as promotions of themselves and of contents or sections inside. Wernick describes this form of self-promotion as ‘hooking’, where the cover or presence...

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