‘Buy buy Miss American Pie’: The day the consumer died

Michael Saren*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Inspired by Askegaard’s thought-provoking commentary in Marketing Theory, this response argues that music is not ‘consumed’. Furthermore, there are many other market contexts where the consumption metaphor is unsuitable. The contemporary meaning of the term derives from its use by early economists like Adam Smith who labelled ‘consumption’ as the opposite of ‘production’. Some of the theoretical and ontological issues underlying the dominance of the concept of consumption in marketing are discussed. Finally, some possible alternatives to consumption as the master narrative are identified, such as those based on experience, service, value, utility, use, satisfaction, pleasure, welfare or well-being.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)565-569
Number of pages5
JournalMarketing Theory
Issue number4
Early online date1 Oct 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015


  • Consumption
  • marketing
  • metaphor
  • music
  • theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing


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