IMC As Theory And As A Poststructural Set

Stephen J. Gould
Zicklin School of Business

The status of Integrated Marketing Communi­cations (IMC) has been addressed numerous times, including in an issue of the Journal of Advertising Research in which a relatively skeptical viewpoint by Gornelissen and Lock (2000) was advanced and relatively supportive comments by Schultz and Kitchen (2000) and Gould (2000) addressing their points were offered. In the present issue, the status question continues to haunt us as evi­denced in the survey work of Swain on varying views of IMC among various practitioners and academics, global issues as explored by Kim, Han, and Schultz, and a critical-theoretical perspective offered by Kitchen, Brignell, Li, and Jones. These articles and the latter in particular provide a use­ful discussion of the various definitions and uses of IMC that I will not repeat here. But the opera­tive word is various. There do seem to be common elements in the various definitions and uses of IMC, which involve managing marketing commu­nications in some holistic manner to achieve stra­tegic objectives (cf. Kitchen, Brignell, Li, and Jones, 2004). But the ways these are construed is perhaps as numerous as there are those construing. Here, I will explore this situation, drawing on the other articles in this issue, as well as my own thought.