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Artists versus arts council: A longitudinal analysis of brand legitimacy

Fillis, IR, Rentschler, R and Lee, B (2021) Artists versus arts council: A longitudinal analysis of brand legitimacy. Poetics. ISSN 0304-422X

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In the arts, brand has often been seen as a ‘dirty word.’ This paper critically analyzes the shaky relationship between artists and an arts council by examining a unique data set of annual reports from the Australia Council for the Arts, over a period of thirty-one years (1982-2013). This longitudinal study charts how and why brand legitimacy in the arts council was lost through the use of institutional, legitimacy and branding theories. With a focus on brand images, text, and media coverage, we demonstrate the souring of relations with artists over three decades. The data reveal three phases of brand development: artist-centric to artistic rebellion to corporatization, at which time the arts council lost artists’ support of the brand. The shift over three phases illustrates changes in types of legitimacy that dominate. The changes are from cognitive and moral legitimacy to pragmatic legitimacy. This change is synonymous with changes in the global art field to McDonaldization. An arts council circulates brands in an artistic and corporate milieu, seeking to achieve legitimacy with actors in both fields. The use of a one-sided branding strategy provokes opposition from artists as it occurs at their expense, creating winners and losers in legitimacy terms.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1402 Applied Economics, 1608 Sociology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5001 Business
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5001 Business > HF5410 Marketing. Distribution of Products
Divisions: Doctoral Management Studies (from Sep 19)
Publisher: Elsevier
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2021 13:18
Last Modified: 13 Nov 2023 00:50
DOI or ID number: 10.1016/j.poetic.2021.101623
Editors: Banks, PA, Katz-Gerro, T and Schmutz, V
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/15627
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