Back to basics in the marketing of place: the impact of litter upon place attitudes

Cathy Parker*, Stuart Roper, Dominic Medway

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Attempts to apply marketing theory and principles to place have become a legitimate area of academic and ‘real world’ practice. However, place marketing does not typically incorporate all elements of the traditional 7 Ps, focusing far too often on just one of these – promotion. Besides this rather myopic approach, place marketing suffers from an overly strategic view of the world that ignores the meaning and lived experience of places to individuals, especially residents. The purpose of this article is twofold – first, we investigate the impact of litter on place attitudes. Litter is a common, but negative, element of place, which is intimately connected to the lived experience of a place but typically far removed from the positive promotional activity favoured by place marketing efforts and the study thereof. In this sense, the article reframes place marketing from a strategic to a micro-marketing endeavour. We found that exposing respondents to litter significantly lowers their place attitudes. Our second contribution is to demonstrate the relevance of classic marketing research approaches, such as attitudinal measures, to investigate litter and its impact on place evaluations, through quasi-experimental design (with 662 respondents). Through this, we extend the range of theory and method applied in place marketing – away from controllable promotional endeavours investigated through case-studies to a more holistic and robust interpretation of place marketing, which has a measurable impact upon the places where people live and visit
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1090-1112
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Marketing Management
Issue number9-10
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes

Cite this