Reconsidering the Classics: Reader Response to "Marketing Myopia"
Reader-response is a leading school of literary criticism. More than a decade ago, Linda Scott argued that it should be applied to marketing and consumer research. Although considerable progress has been made since Scott's clarion call, reader responses to the marketing literature are conspicuous by their absence. This paper examines consumer reactions to a much-admired article, "Marketing Myopia" by Theodore Levitt. Over 200 readings reveal that, far from being regarded as a timeless marketing classic, Ted's article is considered tiresome at best and torture at worst. However, in keeping with Jauss's Rezeptionasthetik (reception theory), readers' prior expectations significantly influence their admittedly idiosyncratic responses to Levitt's widely-cited work of marketing literature.