Volume 11, Issue 3
  • ISSN 1878-9714
  • E-ISSN: 1878-9722
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



This article focuses on an advertisement campaign run in Danish national newspapers promoting Boeing’s combat aircraft F 18 Super Hornet. The campaign received extensive media attention due to its scale and unconventional methods. On the basis of pragmatic text analysis we describe three features in the advertisements: Genre problems, a controversial depiction of sender and recipient, and problems relating to argumentation. We conclude that (1) the analyzed text is predominantly commercial in intent, although framed as information by a sender position that is partly ambiguous in terms of identity, and (2) the campaign’s main arguments are flawed, since decisive justification is not accessible. Based on the findings, the conclusion suggests that the campaign is best understood as a hybrid between public relations and public affairs.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Andersen, Kim Jong
    2016 “Boeing sælger død på vinger [Boeing sells death on wings]”. Kommunikationsforum.dk/artikler/Boeings-kampflys-kampagne-er-uetisk (AccessedAugust 13. 2019)
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Bazerman, Charles
    1994 “Systems of Genres and the Enactment of social Intentions”. InGenre and the new rhetoric, ed. byA. Freedman and P. Medway, 79–101. London: Taylor & Francis.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. 1988Shaping Written Knowledge. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Bhatia, Vijay K.
    1993Analysing Genre: Language Use in Professional Settings. InC. N. Candlin, ed., Applied Linguistics and Language Study. London: Longman.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. 2010 “Interdiscursivity in Professional Communication.” Discourse & Communication4 (1): 32–50. doi:  10.1177/1750481309351208
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1750481309351208 [Google Scholar]
  6. Blumler, J. G., and M. Gurevitch
    2000 “Rethinking the study of political communication”. InMass media and society, ed. byJ. Curran and M. Gurevitch (3rd ed.), 155–172. London: Arnold.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Brummett, Barry
    1995 “Scandalous Rhetorics.” InPublic Relations Inquiry as Rhetorical Criticism: Case Studies of Corporate Discourse and Social Influence, ed. byWilliam N. Elwood, 13–24. Westport, Conn. & London: Praeger.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Catenaccio, Paola
    2008 “Press Releases as a Hybrid Genre: Addressing the Informative/Promotional Conundrum.” Pragmatics18 (1): 9–31. 10.1075/prag.18.1.02cat
    https://doi.org/10.1075/prag.18.1.02cat [Google Scholar]
  9. Connor, Ulla, and Anna Mauranen
    1999 “Linguistic Analysis of Grant Proposals: European Union Research Grants.” English for Specific Purposes18 (1): 47–62. 10.1016/S0889‑4906(97)00026‑4
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0889-4906(97)00026-4 [Google Scholar]
  10. Crable, Richard E., and Steven L. Vibbert
    1995 “Mobil’s Epideictic Advocacy: “Observations” of Prometheus Bound.” InPublic Relations Inquiry as Rhetorical Criticism, ed. byWilliam N. Elwood, 27–46. Westport, Conn.: Praeger.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Dahlgren, Peter
    2005 “The Internet, Public Spheres, and Political Communication: Dispersion and Deliberation.” Political Communication22: 147–162. 10.1080/10584600590933160
    https://doi.org/10.1080/10584600590933160 [Google Scholar]
  12. Elwood, William N.
    1995 “Public Relations Is a Rhetorical Experience: The Integral Principle in Case Study Analysis.” InPublic Relations Inquiry as Rhetorical Criticism: Case Studies of Corporate Discourse and Social Influence, ed. byWilliam N. Elwood, 3–13. Westport, Conn. & London: Praeger.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Eemeren, Frans H. van, and Rob Grootendorst
    1992Argumentation, Communication, and Fallacies. Hillsdale, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Frankel, Christian
    2004 “Indledning [Introduction].” InVirksomhedens politisering [The politicization of the enterprise], ed. byChristian Frankel, 9–28. Copenhagen: Samfundslitteratur.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Geist, Uwe
    1996 “Etik og kommunikation [Ethics in communication].” InETIK – fire artikler om etik i Public Relations [ETHICS – four articles on ethics in Public Relations], ed. byUwe Geist and Pearson, 7–45. Roskilde: Skrifter fra Dansk og Public Relations, Roskilde Universitetscenter. (Also appeared in Mediekultur 24).
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Habermas, Jürgen
    1962Strukturwandel der Öffentlichkeit: Untersuchungen zu einer Kategorie der bürgerlichen Gesellschaft. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp. [English translation 1989 byThomas Burger with the assistance of Frederick Lawrence, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere. An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.]
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Heath, Robert L.
    1992 “The Wrangle in the Marketplace: A Rhetorical Perspective of Public Relations.” InRhetorical and Critical Approaches to Public Relations, ed. byElizabeth Toth and Robert L. Heath. Hillsdale, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. 2001 “A rhetorical enactment rationale for public relations: The good organisation communicating well.” InHandbook of Public Relations, ed. byRobert L. Heath. Pp.xxx. London: Sage. 10.4135/9781452220727.n2
    https://doi.org/10.4135/9781452220727.n2 [Google Scholar]
  19. (ed) 2010The Sage Handbook of Public Relations. Second Edition. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Hoff-Clausen, Elisabeth
    2010Online ethos. Copenhagen: Samfundslitteratur.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Holmstrøm, Susanne
    2013 “Samfundstræk og hverdagspraksis – et sociologisk perspektiv på ændringer i legitimerende paradigmer [Features of society and everyday praxis – a sociological perspective on changes in legitimizing paradigms].” InLegitimitet under forandring. Virksomheden i samfundet [Legitimacy undergoing change. The enterprise in society], ed. bySusanne Holmstrøm and Susanne Kjærbeck, 27–60. Copenhagen, Samfundslitteratur.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Holmström, Susanne
    2010 “Reflective Management. Seeing the Organization as if From Outside.” InThe Sage Handbook of Public Relations, ed. byRobert L. Heath, 261–276. (Second Edition). Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Holmstrøm, Susanne, and Susanne Kjærbeck
    2013 “Introduktion: Legitimitet under forandring [Introduction: Legitimacy undergoing change].” InLegitimitet under forandring. Virksomheden i samfundet [Legitimacy undergoing change. The enterprise in society], ed. bySusanne Holmstrøm and Susanne Kjærbeck, 9–26. Copenhagen: Samfundslitteratur.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. Ihlen, Øyvind
    2010 “The Cursed Sisters: Public Relations and Rhetoric.” InThe Sage Handbook of Public Relations, ed. byRobert L. Heath. Second Edition. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. Kjeldsen, Jens E.
    2006 “Retorisk genreanalyse [Rhetorical genre analysis].” InRetorikkens aktualitet. Grundbog i retorisk kritik [The topicality of rhetoric. Handbook in rhetorical criticism], ed. byHanne Roer and Marie Lund Klujeff, 85–114. Copenhagen: Reitzels Forlag.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Miller, Carolyn
    1984 “Genre as Social Action.” Quarterly Journal of Speech70: 151–167. 10.1080/00335638409383686
    https://doi.org/10.1080/00335638409383686 [Google Scholar]
  27. Nielsen, Niels Møller
    2003 “Corporate branding og den retoriske grundsituation [Corporate branding and the fundamental rhetorical situation].” Rhetorica Scandinavica28: 34–48.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. 2013 “Offentlighed som repræsentation af betydningssystemer [The public sphere as a representation of systems of meaning].” InLegitimitet under forandring: Virksomheden i samfundet [Legitimacy undergoing change: The enterprise in society], ed. bySusanne Holmström and Susanne Kjærbeck, 113–136 (Den kommunikerende organisation). Frederiksberg: Samfundslitteratur.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. 2016Argumenter i kontekst: Introduktion til pragmatisk argumentationsanalyse [Arguments in context: Introduction to pragmatic argumentation analysis]. Second Edition. Frederiksberg: Samfundslitteratur.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. (2019) “Public Relations and Business Legitimacy.” InHandbook of Business Legitimacy: Responsibility, Ethics, and Society, ed. byJacob Rendtorff. Cham: Springer. 10.1007/978‑3‑319‑68845‑9_3‑1
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-68845-9_3-1 [Google Scholar]
  31. Rehfeldt, Vibeke, and Rita Therkelsen
    1996 “Genren – spillereglerne forud for teksten [The genre – the rules of the game for the text].” InDet nye korstog. Sproganalytiske vinkler på en sagprosatekst [The new Crusade. Linguistic angles of analysis applied to a non-fictional text], ed. byKeld Gall Jørgensen and Uwe Geist, 17–31. Roskilde: Roskilde Universitetsforlag.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. Schutz, Alfred and Thomas Luckmann
    1973The Structures of the Life-World. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Searle, John R.
    1965 “What is a Speech Act?”. InPhilosophy in America, ed. byM. Black. 221–239. New York: Cornell University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. Susen, Simon
    2011 “Critical Notes on Habermas’s Theory of the Public Sphere.” Sociological Analysis5 (1): 37–62.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. Swales, John
    1990Genre Analysis. English in Academic and Research Settings. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Therkelsen, Rita
    2013 “Legitimeringsargumenter – et lingvistisk perspektiv på virksomheders balancering mellem markedets og samfundets horisonter [Legitimizing arguments – a linguistic perspective on enterprises balancing between markets and societal horizons].” InLegitimitet under forandring. Virksomheden i samfundet [Legitimacy undergoing change. The enterprise in society], ed. bySusanne Holmstrøm and Susanne Kjærbeck, 235–248. Copenhagen: Samfundslitteratur.
    [Google Scholar]
  37. 2001 “PR-tekster [PR texts].” InProfil og offentlighed [Profile and the public sphere], ed. byMie Femø Nielsen, 231–247. Copenhagen: Samfundslitteratur.
    [Google Scholar]
  38. Togeby, Ole
    2014Bland blot genrerne – ikke tekstarterne! Om sprog, tekster og samfund [Just mix the genres – not the text types!]. Copenhagen: Samfundslitteratur.
    [Google Scholar]
  39. Toth, Elizabeth L., and Robert L. Heath
    1992Rhetorical and critical approaches to public relations. Hillsdale, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
    [Google Scholar]
  40. Toulmin, Stephen E.
    1958The Uses of Argument. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): advertisement campaign; argumentation; genre; public affairs; public relations; reframing
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error