Book Chapter

The ethical challenges at the heart of political branding



Moufahim M & Lilleker D (2021) The ethical challenges at the heart of political branding. In: Moufahim M (ed.) Political Branding in turbulent times. 1 ed. Palgrave Studies in Political Marketing and Management. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 141-151.

This chapter ties the contribution of the chapters of the book and sets an agenda for future research. Key lessons for practitioners, from each chapter, are collated and discussed in this chapter. The chapter also asks a number of questions about the ethics of both political branding and related political marketing communications. At the heart of the conceptualisation of parties and candidates as brands is the logic and relevance of marketing ideology and technology in the political realm. Advocates of the introduction of marketing principles and techniques to the realm of politics have suggested that as the citizen is treated more as a consumer, and so placed at the heart of the decision-making processes, a stronger relationship will develop between citizens and political institutions. The citizen-consumer, it is argued, becomes empowered through being at the heart of political brand management and product development and so more trusting of institutions through their engagement. While it is clear that marketisation has impacted on politics, marketing plays a more significantly role in branding strategies, shaping platforms to align with public attitudes, market testing messages and the integrated marketing communication techniques apparent in campaigning innovation. This final chapter raises the question of whether political marketing communication, as practised, lacks an ethical anchor and thus has the propensity to undermine the democratic processes which give it a purpose.

Ethics; Citizen-consumer; Institutions; Political communication; Political brand management

Title of seriesPalgrave Studies in Political Marketing and Management
Publication date31/12/2021
Publication date online30/03/2023
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Place of publicationCham, Switzerland

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Dr Mona Moufahim

Dr Mona Moufahim

Senior Lecturer, Marketing & Retail