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Edited by Subhash C. Jain and David A. Griffith
Chapter 9: International Advertising Strategy: Some Thoughts on Subjectivity and Decision-making in the Standardization Decision
Jeryl Whitelock and Fernando Fastoso INTRODUCTION In a recent review of the literature on international advertising strategy (Fastoso and Whitelock, 2007, p. 591), we highlighted how fundamental the decision has been whether to standardize or localize marketing and advertising across countries, and how topical this decision continues to be. Indeed, the ‘persisting’ topic of standardization (Griffith et al., 2008, p. 1225) remains a research priority, with research recently concerned with the conditions under which standardization is beneficial for companies (cf. Ryans et al., 2003; Katsikeas et al., 2006; Okazaki et al., 2007). Despite this evidently strong interest in the topic, however, progress in this area of research has been characterized as limited. Ryans et al. (2003, p. 589), for instance, criticized ‘a status of stagnation in thought and action related to the topic’ and called for more research in the area. One issue that appears to have been relatively neglected, as suggested by Taylor and Okazaki (2006, p. 99), is the study of international advertising standardization (IAS) from the perspective of managers (Taylor and Okazaki, 2006, p. 99). This is surprising given that major issues within the IAS field such as company motivations to pursue IAS (Dunn, 1976; Hite and Fraser, 1988), company benefits derived from standardization strategies (Cavusgil and Zou, 1994; Okazaki et al., 2006), as well as process standardization issues (Walters, 1986; Solberg, 2002) can only be addressed through studies of managers. While it is not the intention here to summarize the work of Fastoso and Whitelock (2007)...
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