Launch of the International Journal of Marketing Semiotics (IJMS) VOL.III

Launch of the International Journal of Marketing Semiotics (IJMS) VOL.III


We are pleased to announce the launch of the third issue of the International Journal of Marketing Semiotics.

The past year has been quite semiotically intensive, in preparation of the Handbook of Brand Semiotics (forthcoming in 2015).  The editing of the Handbook turned out to be a particularly edifying experience, both in terms of engaging dialogically and at great length on various topics that are currently on top of the semiotic research agenda, as well as in terms of obtaining a clear picture as to why (academic) brand semiotic research (if not, more broadly speaking, marketing semiotic) has not been advancing at a comparable rate to advances in the distinctive schools of thinking in the wider semiotic discipline and to the proliferating perspectives from the humanities and the social sciences that have been making inroads in consumer cultural research. You may read a fuller (yet, still introductory) account of the latter problematic in the introductory chapter from the Handbook of Brand Semiotics that is hosted in this Volume of IJMS, alongside an overview of the featured chapters.

Volume III of the International Journal of Marketing Semiotics, although slimmer than the previous two volumes, mainly due to lagged submissions that resulted in ‘excess stock’ for Vol.IV, at the expense of this Volume, hosts two research papers that converge, utterly coincidentally, on semiotically inflected Critical (Discourse) Analysis.  Although their core lies with a critical analytical approach, the adopted conceptual platforms are quite divergent and very interestingly so, as the hosted papers have been informed and enriched by as varied perspectives as critical rhetoric, Lacanian psychoanalysis, sociosemiotics, multimodality and Bakhtin’s notion of chronotope.

The first paper, by Kevin Marinelli, is situated in the broader stream of cause-related marketing which it seeks to extend through a branch eloquently tagged as ‘civic branding’. By examining two cause-related marketing campaigns of Starbucks within a critical-semiotic framework, it is argued that traditional theories of argumentation and ethical consumption fail to illuminate the burgeoning sophistication of ethical branding. Civic branding attempts to untie the problematic “cash nexus” of ethical consumption and interpellate branded citizens rather than ethical consumers. It displaces the ethical commodity with a sense of direct civic engagement, while also exploiting logics of Desire by perpetually enticing individuals back to the well of civic brand identification.

The second paper, by Per Ledin and David Machin, actually constitutes the continuation of their Chapter that is featured in the Handbook of Brand Semiotics. Their paper (in the same vein as the respective Chapter, but with a different focus as regards semiotic resources and modes) adopts a CDA perspective in tackling Orebro university’s (Sweden) rebranding that was introduced in 2011 and continues until today.  By extending CDA to MCDA, that is multimodal discourse analysis, they set out to examine the multimodal representation of space in key rebranding documents and how this representation coheres ideologically with the wider marketing objectives behind the rebranding initiative. Ultimately, the adopted MCDA perspective presents a unique take on how a university as brand is shaped in terms of goals, and how such objectives are reflected in internal branding documents that may be aligned with actual perceptions and practices within the represented organization.


If you are an academic researcher or an agency in the field of marketing semiotics and you wish to contribute to the International Journal of Marketing Semiotics, please send your papers to:

The closing date for submissions for IJMS Vol.IV is May 30th 2016

For further details visit

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