This research paper by Francis Buttle, published in International Journal of Advertising reviews and critiques over 100 textbooks’ commentary on how marketing communication works. Students of advertising and other forms of company-to-customer communication are often unaware of the theoretical foundations that underpin their textbook’s content. This paper reveals those assumptions. Wilbur Schramm’s thinking about communication prepared the way for the Shannon-Weaver transmission model of communication. The Shannon-Weaver model is made up of six elements of communication: source, encoder, message, channel , decoder, and receiver. This model dominates the literature, but there is much wrong with it. Naive sometimes, irrelevant often. This paper critiques this naive approach to understanding marketing communication theory.