According to Kotler and Levy (1971: 75), general demarketing ‘is required when a company wants to shrink the level of total demand’, and ‘acts by discouraging customers in general or a certain class of customers in particular on either a temporary or permanent basis’. It may be surprising to realize that there would be times that a company would actively seek to decrease demand for its goods and services, especially as Kotler and Levy point out that ‘the popular conception of marketing is that it deals with the problem of furthering or expanding demand’ (1971: 74). Indeed, when the term ‘marketing’ is used by critics, ‘it is meant to cover all the ways used by marketing to tempt the consumer into buying’ (O’Shaughnessy and O’Shaughnessy, 2002: 525). To understand why and how a company may be forced to, or choose to,
engage in demarketing activities it is therefore interesting to see how such a demand-generation view of marketing has developed.