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A Functional Approach to Political Advertising
Unformatted Document Text:  2 Introduction This paper applies the Functional Theory of Political Campaign Discourse to the Korean political newspaper advertisements for the 1997 presidential campaign. Given the fact that the goal of political discourses is to garner enough votes to win the election (not all the votes), Benoit (1997) suggests that candidates inherently rely on three fundamental functions: acclaim, attack, and defense. The purpose of this study is to analyze the function of Korean newspaper advertising during the presidential campaign based on the functional approach to the political advertisements. Because elections are inherently comparative, a choice between competing candidates, it is common for candidates to acclaim their own strengths and attack their competitors’ weaknesses. In addition, a candidate will understandably defend himself or herself against an opponent’s initial attack. These three functions (acclaim, attack, and defense) can occur with regard to either the policy (issue) or the character (image) of a candidate (Benoit, Pier, & Blaney, 1997; Benoit, 1999; Brazeal, & Benoit, 2001). This paper examines whether the findings of previous studies testing the functional theory of political discourse can be applied to Korean presidential advertising. Findings show that policy and character are discussed equally in the advertisements. The incumbent party candidate acclaims more than the challenging party candidate; while the challenger attacks more than the incumbent.

Authors: Lee, Cheolhan. and Choi, Yun Jung.
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2
Introduction
This paper applies the Functional Theory of Political Campaign Discourse to the
Korean political newspaper advertisements for the 1997 presidential campaign. Given
the fact that the goal of political discourses is to garner enough votes to win the election
(not all the votes), Benoit (1997) suggests that candidates inherently rely on three
fundamental functions: acclaim, attack, and defense. The purpose of this study is to
analyze the function of Korean newspaper advertising during the presidential campaign
based on the functional approach to the political advertisements. Because elections are
inherently comparative, a choice between competing candidates, it is common for
candidates to acclaim their own strengths and attack their competitors’ weaknesses. In
addition, a candidate will understandably defend himself or herself against an opponent’s
initial attack. These three functions (acclaim, attack, and defense) can occur with regard
to either the policy (issue) or the character (image) of a candidate (Benoit, Pier, &
Blaney, 1997; Benoit, 1999; Brazeal, & Benoit, 2001). This paper examines whether the
findings of previous studies testing the functional theory of political discourse can be
applied to Korean presidential advertising. Findings show that policy and character are
discussed equally in the advertisements. The incumbent party candidate acclaims more
than the challenging party candidate; while the challenger attacks more than the
incumbent.


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