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Advertising and Race

Global Phenomenon, Historical Challenges, and Visual Strategies

Linda C. L. Fu

Since colonization, dominant ideologies of «race» have been visualized and communicated through advertising. At its core, this book delineates the continuities and changes in what is termed the «colonial racial script» within global advertising representations. The origins of that script are traced back to the eighteenth century – through the Transatlantic Slave Trade, the age of High Imperialism, the post-World War II era to the current stage of globalization – and are identified and analyzed.
From ads selling slaves to the ones promoting the ideal of equality, from the campaigns generating new racial currencies to the ones turning down the existing racist overtones, Linda C. L. Fu examines over 100 advertisements and draws on a 300-year span of references to reveal the plurality, chaos, variation, and resilience of the colonial concepts of race in society through advertising discourses in the West.
Advertising and Race is the first book devoted exclusively to the study of strategic deployments of racial tropes in advertising amid waves of historical challenges. With a well-mixed theoretical, historical, social, and professional narrative, it presents a new approach, critical insight, and a comprehensive reference for the study of advertising and communication, as well as the study of race, society, culture, and globalization.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Fu, Linda C. L. Advertising and race: global phenomenon, historical challenges, and visual strategies / Linda C. L. Fu. pages cm Includes bibliographical references and index. 1. Advertising—Social aspects—History. 2. Minorities in advertising—History. 3. Stereotypes (Social psychology) in advertising—History. 4. Advertising—Cross-cultural studies. 5. Racism—History. I. Title. HF5811.F85 659.1’042—dc23 2014005959 ISBN 978-1-4331-2218-7 (hardcover) ISBN 978-1-4331-2217-0 (paperback) ISBN 978-1-4539-1334-5 (e-book)

Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “Deutsche Nationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data are available on the Internet at

Cover and book design by Linda C. L. Fu, PhD

© 2014 Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., New York 29 Broadway, 18th floor, New York, NY 10006

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