The Evolution of Media Reporting of Ambush Marketing

Nicholas Burton
Kevin Snyder
and Steve McKelvey

This study examines the representation of ambush marketing in news media in an eff ort to determine how ambush marketing discourse has evolved as practices have grown in sophistication, strategy, and acceptance. Historically, much of the discussion and debate surrounding ambushing has been led by commercial rights holders who have engendered a fundamentally parasitic, pejorative view of ambushing–a bias that has informed and influenced both practitioner and academic perspectives of ambush marketing. The findings of this study shed new light on a progressive evolution in ambush marketing discourse and coverage across news and trade publications. A defined shift in the tone and perspective of ambush marketing media representation is apparent, suggesting a greater acceptance of ambushing in the popular and industry presses, and diminished influence on the part of commercial rights holders.