This chapter examines how, beginning as early as the 1950s, the representatives of Yugoslavia's commercial trades went about legitimizing the appeal of (and to) market culture and consumerist values as they sought to “sell” the new consumer orientation to government authorities, party politicians, business leaders, and ordinary consumers. Yugoslavia's departure from Stalinism gave rise to new attitudes toward commercial promotion, but those in positions of authority typically did not treat advertising and marketing as “natural” elements of the country's commercial life. This chapter looks at specialists' efforts to naturalize advertising and marketing activities in line with the distinctive ideology of Yugoslav self-management socialism. More specifically, it considers the ways that these specialists tried to establish the legitimacy of advertising and marketing as essentially system-neutral and even value-neutral techniques of economic progress in general and of abundance in particular. It also discusses the problematic nature of the idea of “socialist advertising”.
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