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  • Date Submitted: 05/11/2011 10:46 PM
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A Rhetorical Analysis of the Discourse of Advertising Herbal Medicine in Southwestern Nigeria
Adeyemi Adegoju (Ile-Ife)

Abstract This paper examines the persuasive strategies of advertising herbal medicine in southwestern Nigeria. With recourse to the rhetorical model of analysis, the article identifies and discusses the propaganda techniques/rhetorical strategies in the discourse relative to the herbal medical practitioners' ideological perception of trying to project modern-day herbal healing in Africa as an alternative to that of the failing synthetic drugs of western medical practice. Although the social practice of advertising herbal medicine is culturally based, this study reveals that there are no significant culture-specific strategies of advertising in the data sampled, as the communicative strategies generally fit in with the prefabricated style of advertising discourse. In view of the fact that the advertising genre like other areas of public life is a site of struggle over meaning, the study takes a critical look at the instances of the advertisers' tendency to abuse meaning in language by making certain advertising claims which there is no objective evidence to back up.

Introduction The present researcher grew up in southwestern Nigeria, as an elementary school pupil in the late 1970's, to the consciousness of the advertisement of herbal medicine at strategic locations such as roadsides, markets and motor parks in major towns and cities where the attention of passers-by could easily be attracted. A major channel of reaching the prospective consumers at such settings was the suspension of blaring loudspeakers on the top of stationary vehicles. Although this advertising channel still subsists, a new trend in the advertisement of herbal medicine in modern times is the aggressive marketing drive in both the print and electronic media. Commenting on this, Komolafe (1998: 71) writes:
In recent times, a lot of interest and attention have been drawn to...

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