Edited by Frans H. van Eemeren and Bart Garssen
[Argumentation in Context 4] 2012
► pp. 255–268
In spite of the increasing awareness of the central role that argumentation plays in direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising, argumentative considerations have not yet been adequately incorporated into the analysis of DTC ads. In this paper, we argue that taking argumentative considerations into account when designing codebooks for the content analysis of DTC ads is necessary in order for the analysis of DTC advertising to be insightful. We critically examine the codebooks used in influential studies in which the method of content analyses is applied to DTC ads in order to highlight the shortcomings of the existing codebooks. For example, because existing coding schemes do not incorporate argumentative insight into the coding schemes applied to DTC ads, these schemes can only identify the recurrence of particular messages but not identify the argumentative role these messages play in the text. We propose an alternative coding scheme that can capture argumentative features of DTC ads which are not captured in the existing coding schemes.