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Retrospectives in Marketing          Volume 20, Number 1, August 2007

Published by the CHARM (Conference on Historical Analysis & Research in Marketing) Association Quinnipiac University, Hamden, CT, USA 

*** NEWS *** 

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing Becomes a Reality! 

Emerald Publishing has accepted a proposal to begin publishing a new journal to be titled Journal of Historical Research in Marketing.  The founding editorial staff will include Brian Jones (Quinnipiac University), Eric Shaw (Florida Atlantic University), Peggy Cunningham (Queen’s University - Canada), and Mark Tadajewski (University of Leicester - UK).  The editorial advisory board includes 30 outstanding scholars representing eight different countries.  The Journal of Historical Research in Marketing will focus on marketing history and the history of marketing thought.  Marketing is defined broadly to include the activities involved in commercial exchange and other commercial-like activities.  Marketing history includes, but is not limited to, the histories of advertising, retailing, channels of distribution, product design & branding, pricing strategies, and consumption behaviour - all studied from the perspective of companies, industries, or even whole economies.  The history of marketing thought examines the histories of marketing ideas, concepts, theories, and schools of marketing thought including the lives and times of marketing thinkers.  This includes biographical studies as well as histories of institutions and associations involved in the development of the marketing discipline.  Historiographic essays will also be welcome as long as they are grounded in a marketing context.  The Journal of Historical Research in Marketing welcomes high quality, original research that encompasses a broad range of historical approaches, philosophical positions, and methodologies.  The unifying theme is its historical orientation.   

More details will be made available soon and we expect to begin publication in early 2009.  Please monitor the CHARM website at  http://www.charmassociation.org/ for more information. 

13th Biennial Conference on Historical Analysis & Research in Marketing (CHARM) Makes History! 

The 13th CHARM was hosted by the Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, May 17 through 20, 2007.  Participation as measured in the number of papers presented was second only to the 2005 CHARM held in Long Beach CA.   Keynote speaker, Alan Andreasen of the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University, spoke on “The Evolution of Social Marketing Thought in the Discipline”. Distinguished speaker Alan Richardson of the Schulich School of Business at York University gave an inspiring presentation about “The History of Accounting History”. 

Two historically important decisions were made at the CHARM general membership meeting on Sunday, May 20.  CHARM members approved the proposal by Mark Tadajewski of the University of Leicester to host the 2009 CHARM conference at the university’s new conference facility in Leicester, England.  The dates for the 2009 CHARM are Thursday, May 28th through Sunday, May 31, so mark your calendars now.  Local arrangements chair will be Mark Tadajewski and the program chair is Bill Keep of Quinnipiac University.  A full Call for Papers will be distributed soon.  This marks the first time in CHARM’s history that the conference will be held outside of North America.  At that Sunday general meeting there was also lengthy discussion of the possibility of beginning publication of a new marketing history journal.  Immediately following the conference, a committee consisting of Brian Jones, Eric Shaw, Peggy Cunningham, Mark Tadajewski, and Terry Witkowski prepared a proposal for a new journal which was submitted to Emerald Publishing.  The response to that proposal is noted above.  

CHARM Counterfactuals - by Terry Witkowski 

As many RIM readers know, our group’s initial meeting was called the “First North American Workshop on Historical Research in Marketing” and was held at Michigan State University in June, 1983.  The late Stan Hollander organized this confab and ever since has been most deservingly honored as our small group’s founding father. 

But what if Stan had not hosted this first meeting?  Would there ever have been a CHARM?  Might have the history of research in marketing history unfolded differently?   

These “what if” questions are called counterfactuals.  Some historians dismiss such speculations.  The role of the historian is to uncover evidence of what truly happened and then organize findings into a meaningful narrative.  Creating alternative histories is mere story telling, something best left to fiction writers. 

Other historians (Ferguson 1997) argue that counterfactual thinking is relevant to historical analysis.  History, in this view, may be influenced by various contingencies, accidental factors, and the free will of individuals.  Just as a stochastic “uncertainty principle” applies in the sciences, an analogous mechanism exists in history.  The opposing philosophy, determinism, sees history as the product of general causes, such as geography or large social and economic trends, that are fairly impervious to chance events.  

Counterfactuals need to be plausible.  For example, it is not unimaginable that something could have happened in Stan’s personal or professional life that would have steered him on a different scholarly course in the 1980s.  Without his first workshop, nothing like CHARM might ever have taken place and the subsequent research stream in marketing history would have been much diminished.

Determinism argues differently.  It would say the idea of rehabilitating marketing history had risen in several minds simultaneously.  Roger Dickinson, Ron Fullerton, Rick Pollay, Ron Savitt, Eric Shaw, and others contributed to the first workshop, as well as to subsequent meetings, and someone in this group or from elsewhere in the field would have eventually put together a marketing history conference. 

Similar debates could be had about other phenomena in the history of marketing and marketing thought.  Was the invention of the department store, which took place more or less simultaneously in 19th century New York and Paris, predestined by macro forces or dependent upon the acts of entrepreneurs?  Was the drift toward managerial thinking in the marketing literature inevitable or did it rest on the influence of a few thought leaders such as Philip Kotler? 

Whether these questions are answerable or not, engaging our counterfactual imagination keeps us very much aware of different layers of causation, thus improving our historical analysis and research in marketing. 

Ferguson, Niall (1997), “Virtual History: Towards a ‘Chaotic’ Theory of the Past,” in Niall Ferguson (ed.), Virtual History: Alternatives and Counterfactuals, New York: Basic Books, pp. 1-90.

CHARM Website Enhancements

Please check out the following improvements and additions to the CHARM website. 

  • The URL has been changed to http://www.charmassociation.org/ which will make it easier to find and easier to remember, but go ahead and bookmark it anyway!
  • Blaine Branchik, the webmaster for CHARM and program chair for the 2007 conference, interviewed several participants at the 2007 CHARM conference for their views about why they study marketing history.  The “Why Marketing History” video is up and available for your interest and entertainment.  You can access it via the home page (the link is in the body of the home page) or via the About the Conference link. 
  • CHARM is sponsoring a contest to design a new logo for the association and we want your contribution.  The winning entrant will receive a new Ipod shuffle.  Check the CHARM home page for more contest details.
  • Coming soon (actually, this has already begun and will unfold over the next few weeks) – ALL of the proceedings of the marketing history conferences beginning with the first conference in 1983 through to and including the 2005 CHARM proceedings will be available in full and in PDF format and FREE.  As of the writing of this newsletter, the 1983 proceedings has been posted and all others have been copied into PDF format waiting to be posted on the website.  We hope this will increase access to the fine body of historical research that has been presented at past CHARM conferences, much of which is not available anywhere else.


The Business History Conference's 2008 annual meeting will be held in Sacramento, California, April 10-12, hosted by the California State University at Sacramento. Its theme is "Expanding Connections for Business History," with the goal of reaching across disciplines and audiences. It will focus on what business history offers to other fields of scholarship, as well as what business historians can learn from other scholarly perspectives. In addition, both the opening plenary and a roundtable will explore how business historians can work with journalists to extend our reach into the public arena. Sessions will highlight research that is comparative, that contextualizes its subjects, or that examines any of the complex interactions that business activities involve. The conference will expand business history's intellectual connections and approaches, broadening our outreach to both scholarly and public audiences. For the full call for papers, see http://www.thebhc.org/annmeet/call08.html. The deadline for proposals is 24 September 2007.

Leisure, Tourism and the 19th Century Resort, the 11th annual Salve Regina University conference about Cultural and Historic Preservation is on October 18-20, 2007 in Newport Rhode Island.  For more information check http://www.salve.edu/heritage/annualconferences/2007/ 

Histories of Industrial Hazard – Dangerous Trade: Histories of Industrial Hazard across a Globalizing World on December 13-15, 2007 at Stony Brook University, NY focuses on the late 19th and early 20th century and the later 20th century periods of economic integration.  For more information check http://h-net.msu.edu/cgi-bin/logbrowse.pl?trx=vx&list=H-Business&month=0612&week=b&msg=I%2bvXK/1xEbs6dgw7XKKYpQ 


Journal of Macromarketing:

  • Volume 27, number 1, the March 2007 issue is a special issue on “The Future of Marketing’s Past” featuring seven of the best papers from the 2005 CHARM conference
  • Volume 26, number 2, the December 2006 issue is the silver anniversary issue of JMM and includes much throughout of historical interest as well as “Historical Research in the Journal of Macromarketing, 1981 – 2005” by Brian Jones & Eric Shaw

Marketing Theory:

  • Volume 6, number 4, the December 2006 issue includes “Remembering Motivation Research: Toward an Alternative Genealogy of Interpretive Consumer Research” by Mark Tadajewski
  • Volume 6, number 2, the June 2006 issue includes “The Ordering of Marketing Theory: The Influence of McCarthyism and the Cold War” by Mark Tadajewski

A special issue of the European Business Review, volume 19, number 2, 2007 features “Pioneers in Business Education” including:

  • “Theodore N. Beckman (1895 – 1973): External Manifestations of the Man” by Brian Jones
  • “How Philip Kotler Has Helped to Shape the Field of Marketing” by Maureen Bourassa, Peggy Cunningham, and Jay Handelman

Recent selections from Roger Dickinson’s book shelf…(with apologies from the RIM editor for any missing citation information)… 

The Bloodless Revolution: A Cultural History of Vegetarianism from 1600 to Modern Times, W.W. Norton 

The Cigarette Century: The Rise, Fall and Deadly Persistence of the Product that Defined America, Basic Books. 

Ambitious Brew: The Store of American Beer, Maureen Ogle 

Great American Beer: 50 Brands That Shaped the 20th Century, Christopher O’Hara 

Advertising on Trial: Consumer Activism and Corporate Public Relations in the 1930s, Inger Stole, University of Illinois Press 

Marketing Science, Volume 25, number 6 (November – December 2006) editorial: “Fifty Years of Marketing Science” by Steven M. Shugan 

“Listen and Learn: A Brief History of Oral History” in the Wall Street Journal, July 27, 2007, by Bari Weiss, page W13 


If you have news or other information relevant to readers of RIM, please contact Brian Jones.  If you wish to be removed from the RIM email distribution list, please notify Brian at bjones1@quinnipiac.edu 

Historically yours,


D.G. Brian Jones, PhD
Professor of Marketing
School of Business / SB-DNF
Quinnipiac University
275 Mount Carmel Avenue
Hamden, CT  06518

phone: (203) 582-3753
fax: (203) 582-8664

Updated March 6, 2012.
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