Relevance is a protean concept – shaped and re-shaped by different perspectives, polemics and practices. At once it can be antithetical to the term 'academic' and serve as a target for academic work. In this edition of the Journal of Marketing Management, the range of the articles covers a wide number of slants on relevance. In May, new laws were introduced which resulted in the biggest upheaval in consumer protection law in 40 years in the UK – with many issues tangential to several of the articles in this edition dealing with consumer information and protection, child-brand relationships and ethical consumption. The breakdown, also in May, in the discussion of a major deal between Bharti Airtel and MTN may have some relevance, in part, for our first paper, which discusses cultural and psychic distance.