[OPE-L:1221] Re: Re: Re: Advertising and productive labour

From: Gerald Levy (glevy@pratt.edu)
Date: Tue Sep 14 1999 - 12:31:16 EDT

Jurriaan wrote in [OPE-L:1219]:

> Sometimes you seem to argue that advertising is only productive if the
> product it advertises is actually sold as result of the advertising.

No, that's not my argument.

What I am saying is that:

a) advertising labor does not create surplus value, rather it can lead to
the realization of surplus value for capitalists.

b) for the value that was created in an "ideal" sense in production to
become "real" and "actual", the products must be sold in the marketplace.
In other words, the use-value which was *presumed* to exist by capitalists
prior to exchange must be shown to *actually* exist. Until the product is
sold, therefore, it is only a commodity in an ideal sense (in the sense
that the product was produced with the intention of exchange). For it to
actually *be* a commodity, it must have use-value, exchange-value, and
value. Yet this can not be known with certainty *unless and until* it is

c) From an individual capitalist perspective, advertising is crucially
important for profitability. This is the case because the capitalist knows
that her/his bottom line depends not only on the creation of value and
surplus value (of course, capitalists wouldn't tend to express themselves
in this way), but also on sales (the "realization/actualization" of
surplus value). Indeed, from a managerial perspective, sales are as
important as production. Even though this is the case, this does not
speak to the distinction between productive and unproductive labour.

In solidarity, Jerry

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