This paper argues that marketing scholars should be paying a lot more attention to the rhetorical form which the economic historian Philip Mirowski – following the novelist David Foster Wallace – calls murketing. Combining philosophical, historical, economic and fictional resources, the paper first produces a synthetic account of what murketing is. Blurring calculated dishonesty with impassioned sincerity, murketing operationalises a double-truth dialectic which treats consumers as both subjects and objects within the process of their own persuasion. In order to indicate how murketing works, the paper then considers recent examples from murketing practice where allusions are made which are both cynical and gnostic, both conceited and intimate, and both earnest and ironic. The paper closes by indicating how its account of the theory and practice of murketing might inform the future study, consumption and regulation of advertising and marketing communications.
- David Foster Wallace