In the next chapter in my new book Museum Practice, Derrick Chong discusses tricky issues to do with arts sponsorship, branding and marketing, and poses a provocative question with reference to a case study of Tate and BP: is oil and gas the new tobacco? “Activist artists can help arts institutions—not least of all those with roles in marketing and sponsorship—to clarify who is an acceptable relationship partner,” he writes. Even if corporate relationships are seen as a necessary compromise by many museums, he argues that “multiple perspectives on social issues—such as relationships between multinational capitalism and the arts—are useful in a democratic society.”
Derrick Chong is Associate Dean (Education) in the Faculty of Management and Economics at Royal Holloway, University of London, where he teaches a core first-year course, Markets and Consumption. He is originally from Canada where he read business administration and art history; his PhD is from the University of London. An earlier version of this chapter won the 2011 John Molson [Concordia University] MBA International Case Writing Competition.