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DICKASON Renée, British Television Advertising. Cultural Identity and Communication, UK, University of Luton Press, 2000.

Commercial television in the UK began some 45 years ago and television advertisements have come to be an accepted part of the spectacle offered to the viewer and, more recently, to be considered, by some, as a bastion of ’Britishness’ in a world of increasing media globalisation. More than the programmes themselves, advertisements are firmly rooted in the society for which they are intended and can be seen as a reflection of the attitudes and perceptions of that society.
The subject is nevertheless complicated. The relationship between adverts and programmes is changing and commercials themselves cannot stand still. Product adverts primarily serve a commercial purpose, but the promotion of new goods and services and the representation of others are equally evocative of changes in social trends and conventions, while government ads have moved on from a purely informative role, highlighting health and welfare questions, to become something more obviously prescriptive, in their attempts to set the limits of (good) citizenship and to establish norms of conduct.
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