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The politics of brand accounting in the United Kingdom


  • Michael Power


The debate on accounting for brand names in the UK is undoubtedly a significant episode in the recent history of accounting regulation. This essay describes the principal 'technical' parameters of the debate and places the question of a credible valuation technology for brands at its centre. A concept of the politics of consensus formation is developed to interpret the strategies adopted by the participants in the debate to contest and assert the authority of valuation expertise. This suggests a more complex view of the UK debate in which apparently technical disagreements about asset recognition cannot be abstracted from social questions of expert authority to determine such issues. The UK brand accounting debate therefore concerns much more than the need to solve an accounting problem. The concept of the branded product provokes a new and contested visibility for marketing bodies of knowledge in relation to financial reporting.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Power, 1992. "The politics of brand accounting in the United Kingdom," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(1), pages 39-68.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:euract:v:1:y:1992:i:1:p:39-68
    DOI: 10.1080/09638189200000003

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    Cited by:

    1. Sylvain Durocher, 2009. "The future of interpretive accounting research: The contribution of McCracken's (1988) approach," Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 6(3), pages 137-159, July.
    2. Corinne Bessieux-Ollier & Marie Chavent & Vanessa Kuentz & Elisabeth Walliser, 2010. "L'adoption en France des normes IFRS relatives aux incorporels : bouleversement des pratiques ou inertie ?," Post-Print halshs-00526410, HAL.
    3. Isabelle Fabioux, 2016. "Le processus de normalisation de l’audit : état de l’art et voies de recherches futures," Post-Print hal-01902563, HAL.
    4. Thomas Carrington & Gustav Johed, 2007. "The construction of top management as a good steward: A study of Swedish annual general meetings," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 20(5), pages 702-728, September.
    5. Power, Michael, 1997. "Expertise and the construction of relevance: Accountants and environmental audit," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 123-146, February.
    6. Ramanna Karthik, 2013. "The International Politics of IFRS Harmonization," Accounting, Economics, and Law: A Convivium, De Gruyter, vol. 3(2), pages 1-45, January.
    7. Gietzmann, M. B. & Quick, R., 1998. "Capping auditor liability: The German experience," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 81-103, January.
    8. Corinne Bessieux-Ollier & Marie Chavent & Vanessa Kuentz & Elisabeth Walliser, 2012. "The mandatory adoption of IFRS on intangibles: upheaval or inertia? The case of France," International Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Performance Evaluation, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 8(1), pages 91-113.
    9. repec:dau:papers:123456789/3503 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. repec:taf:acctbr:v:40:y:2010:i:3:p:197-210 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Carole Botton & Julien Fouquau, 2014. "L'Expertise De L'Evaluation : Une Construction Sociale," Post-Print hal-01899544, HAL.
    12. Ulf Johanson & Maria Mårtensson & Matti Skoog, 2001. "Measuring to understand intangible performance drivers," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(3), pages 407-437.
    13. Jane Davison, 2009. "Icon, iconography, iconology: Visual branding, banking and the case of the bowler hat," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 22(6), pages 883-906, July.
    14. Ding, Yuan & Richard, Jacques & Stolowy, Hervé, 2008. "Towards an understanding of the phases of goodwill accounting in four Western capitalist countries: From stakeholder model to shareholder model," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 33(7-8), pages 718-755.
    15. Young, Joni J., 1995. "Getting the accounting "right": Accounting and the savings and loan crisis," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 55-80, January.
    16. Huikku, Jari & Mouritsen, Jan & Silvola, Hanna, 2017. "Relative reliability and the recognisable firm: Calculating goodwill impairment value," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 68-83.
    17. Durocher, Sylvain & Fortin, Anne & Cote, Louise, 2007. "Users' participation in the accounting standard-setting process: A theory-building study," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 32(1-2), pages 29-59.
    18. Inès Bouden & Tiphaine Compernolle, 2008. "Le Recours Croissant Aux Evaluateurs Externes Dans Le Cadre Des Normes Ifrs : Consequences Pour L'Auditeur," Post-Print halshs-00522401, HAL.
    19. Mennicken, Andrea, 2002. "Bringing calculation back in: Sociological studies in accounting," economic sociology_the european electronic newsletter, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, vol. 3(3), pages 17-27.
    20. Stolowy, Herve & Haller, Axel & Klockhaus, Volker, 2001. "Accounting for brands in France and Germany compared with IAS 38 (intangible assets): An illustration of the difficulty of international harmonization," The International Journal of Accounting, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 147-167, May.
    21. repec:eee:aosoci:v:60:y:2017:i:c:p:79-95 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Power, Michael, 1996. "Making things auditable," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 289-315.

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