Ini adalah satu lagi contoh ulasan buku yang saya buat dalam tahun 1999.
Advertising in Asia: Communication, Culture and Consumption. Frith, Katherine Tland, ed. Ames: Iowa State University. 1996. xii+313pp.
This review appeared in the Journal of Communication Book Reviews in Vol 6 No. 1 (1999).
The dynamic economic growth in Asian countries — “Asian miracle” — over the last decades, especially in East Asia, has resulted in a dramatic increase in advertising. Frith notes that the region spent billions on mass media advertising, a;; aimed at enticing the burgeoning middle class to consume everything from perfumes to Pentiums (p.3). Multinational business activity has caused a transformation of consumer behaviors in the region--and a shift from a traditional to a mass market. Advertising is
at the center of this change.
In this book, Frith and 12 other scholars set out to examine
advertising practice in Asia, including issues related to political
systems, national development policies and the social, cultural and
philosophical underpinnings that affect advertising regulations in China,
Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines,
Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand.
Frith notes that even though many publications are available on the
economic miracle of Asia, hardly any comprehensive work exists on
advertising practice in the region except Anderson's 1984 book Madison
Avenue in Asia (p. 3). However, one may cite several other examples:
De La Torre (1988), Hashim (1994), Nawigamune (1988), and Singh (1976).
Anderson viewed the situation in Asia through the lens of Johan
Galtung's structural theory of imperialism to describe the impact of
transnational advertising on the periphery nations of Asia. Anderson had
concluded that under economic colonialism, "center" nations--particularly
the United States, Britain and Japan--to a large extent controlled the
economies of the developing or "peripheral" nations (Frith, p. 4).
Frith argues the rise of the Four Dragons--Hong Kong, Singapore,
South Korea, and Taiwan, which experienced the greatest sustained economic
development in the world--may raise some challenging questions about the
final outcome of the modernization process in Asia (p. 4). Frith observes
that the most interesting aspects of economic growth in East Asia has been
the connection between culture and economic growth--the "Cultural China"
factor--not only in terms of the geographic region but also in terms of
what Tu Wei-ming (1991) calls the Chinese Diaspora scattered as an ethnic
minority throughout Asia. In addition to sharing cultural values, this
group is also responsible for much of the economic growth in the region.
A "myth" exists that multinational corporations are always successful
in cracking the resistance of Asian culture and politics, despite the
countless successes of multinational brands in Asia. However, Anderson
(1984) and Janus (1986) had noted that in the 1980s advertising promoted
the consumption of nonessential products and concentrated economic power
in the hands of a few large transnational corporations, which had an
advantage in foreign markets.
Advertising has been held responsible for the spread of consumer
culture. Advertising too has been charged with creating an increasing gap
and disharmony of interest between the "haves" and the "have nots."
Advertising is also blamed for the destruction of indigenous culture and
the promotion of foreign culture--pop music, jeans, etc. Frith notes that
of all the criticisms of advertising this one is the most worrisome
because although it is hard to argue against positive benefits of economic
growth, it is equally hard to argue for the destruction of indigenous
culture (p. 7).
As we move into the 21st century's new media--Information
Superhighway, Internet, etc.--a new model is emerging. The old media--such
as radio, television and newspapers--promoted a one-way, top-down
transmission system that theoretically gave rise to a passive audience and
a powerful media. Frith notes that much of the criticism of advertising
voiced in the past was rooted in the notion of a passive audience and a
powerful medium. The new media--connected through telephone, satellite and
computers--provide for interaction between sender and receiver. As the new
media technologies move us to a more democratic and interactive mode of
communication, the role of advertising will also change. Frith envisages
that some of the power previously attributed to advertising may give way
to new channels of discourse that are less dependent on external factors
and more on what one thinks (p. 9).
Each country report in the book provides an in-depth discussion of
the relevant country. Japan has a special place not only because it is the
only developed country in Asia (as a member of G-7), but also because it
is the second largest advertising market after the United States. Osamu
Inoue points out that Japan has learned a great deal about modern theories
and techniques from the United States (p. 37). However, Japan's
advertising industry is developing its own technologies and culture
following the trends toward globalization, deregulation and opening up of
Malaysia's multi-racial and multi-cultural setting provides another
good example of how advertising develops its unique features. Teck Hua Ngu
says the advertising industry in Malaysia faces complex challenges, making
the practice of advertising more difficult than in some other Asian
countries (p. 255). Ngu adds that like other developing countries in the
region, Malaysia realizes that advertising can be a powerful force in
shaping national values; and that advertising needs to be harnessed to
help construct a just society, not just a consumer society (p. 256).
The book preceded the economic and financial meltdown in East and
Southeast Asia. Inoue, however, has forewarned the problem Japan would
face when the "bubble economy collapse[d]" (p. 37). IMF has given Korea a
US$60 billion loan, US$23 billion to Indonesia, and US$17 billion
to Thailand, the country where the financial debacle initially surfaced.
This meltdown will definitely have an impact on advertising. The changing
scenario of new media will also change the practice of advertising and
probably the laws and policies pertaining to it.
Anderson, M. E. (1984). Madison Avenue in Asia: Politics and
transnational advertising. Rutherford, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson
De La Torre, V. R. (1989). Advertising in the Philippines: its historical,
cultural, and social dimensions. Manila: Tower Book House.
Hashim, A. (1994). Advertising in Malaysia.Petaling Jaya: Pelanduk
Janus (1986). Transnational advertising: Some considerations of its impact
on peripheral socieities. In Communication in Latin American society:
Trends in critical research 1960-1985. (E. Atwood & E. McAnany, eds.).
Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.
Nawigamune, A. (1988). Advertising in Thailand. Kothomo [i.e., Krung
Thep Maha Nakhon]: Borisat Samnakphim Saengdaet.
Singh, D. R. (Ed.). (1976). Advertising in India: selected research
studies. Ludhiana : Dept. of Business Management, Punjab Agricultural
Tu Wei-ming. (1991). Cultural China: The periphery as the center.
Daedalus, 120 (2): 8.
Mohd Safar Hasim, associate professor
Department of Communication
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia