The art of choosing and the politics of social marketing

Jessica Pykett, Rhys Jones, Marcus Welsh, Mark Whitehead

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)
389 Downloads (Pure)


Social marketing is an increasingly popular method by which governments and public bodies deploy marketing principles and techniques in order to achieve ‘social goods’. This paper examines the close relationship between public sector social marketing, a policy mantra focu social marketing advisors and civil servants, the paper argues that careful attention need marketing tools in public policy, with a particular focus on the ethics of behavioural segmentation, context shaping and choice. We argue that there are serious ethical consequences to a public policy culture, which has become preoccupied with cultivating the arts of choosing within a methodological and theoretical framework dominated by the language, tools and techniques of behaviourism, marketisation and consumerism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-114
Number of pages18
JournalPolicy Studies
Issue number2
Early online date20 Jan 2014
Publication statusPublished - May 2014


  • choice
  • segmentation
  • behaviour change
  • behavioural sciences
  • Public policy


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