The Gruen Transfer: Advertising experts scrutinizing advertising

Nicholas Carah, Sven Brodmerkel, Angie Knaggs

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


The Gruen Transfer, a television program about advertising featuring a panel of advertising professionals, has been an unexpected ratings success across its three seasons on Australia’s public broadcaster. Gruen offers a unique avenue for expanding recent attempts to account for how communications professionals give meaning to their work. On Gruen, advertising and creative professionals present themselves as working in the public interest as they decode their creative process, production techniques and strategic considerations. In doing so they enact their professional ideologies and offer them as frameworks and resources for the public to examine and assess advertising as a cultural activity.

The paper draws on analysis of exchanges on the program, interactions between cultural producers about the program online, and interviews with advertising professionals who watch the program. Gruen is a curious cultural text because it operates as part of the forms of cultural production it aims to deconstruct. The paper examines the extent to which the practice of advertisers scrutinizing advertising provides insights into the moral and ethical dimensions of creative work.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011
EventMoral Economics of Creative Labour Conference - University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom
Duration: 7 Jul 20118 Jul 2011


ConferenceMoral Economics of Creative Labour Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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