Anandi Ramamurthy
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Corporate advertising, decolonisation and the transition to neo-colonialism
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Advertisements in establishment papers such as the Illustrated London News represent the corporate companies as bringers of so-called progress and development. For corporate companies who had clearly benefited from systems of imperial preference, the process of decolonisation in many parts of the Empire brought uncertainty. The representation of neo-colonialism through modernisation theory is apparent in all the images corporate firms. The creation of an indigenous elite, which would take over the reins of authority without destroying the economic interests of major firms, was a deliberate policy of both the colonial government and British companies working towards political decolonisation. The image of industrial development in Africa appears in advertisements as early as 1954 and expresses unequivocal support for the project of modernity. The actions of the Colonial Development Corporation (CDC) indicate the way in which British efforts to 'modernise' Africa were neither benign nor neutral.

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Imperial persuaders

Images of Africa and Asia in British advertising

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