Special Section of Journal of Advertising on “COVID-19 & Advertising”

I am excited to announce that I will be co-editing a special section of the Journal of Advertising around the theme of “COVID-19 and Advertising”. We are focusing on “research briefs” as the type of submission for this section as the deadline is fast approaching – November 15, 2020. Please see the call details below or visit the JA website:


The COVID-19 global pandemic has taken a toll on society through the disruption of economies, governments, businesses, and consumers. Marketing and advertising have decreased in both volume and budgets with the majority of advertisers reducing or eliminating advertising spending in the short-term (IAB 2020). The content of advertising has shifted as well toward health, community, and helping themes. Although there are many practical examples and anecdotes of how brands are shifting to meet consumer needs, there is a tremendous need for research to understand and guide thinking on how brands can survive the pandemic and inspire consumers while helping the world through the COVID-19 crisis – a primary aim of our Pop-Up Special Section on Advertising and COVID-19.

In this Pop-Up Special Section, we seek high-quality, cutting-edge research in the form of Research Notes (6,000 words maximum) that explore how advertising has been impacted by the pandemic. Topics related to macro effects of the pandemic on the industry or consumers (Graham and Frankenberger 2001) are appropriate. Of particular interest is research that examines the role advertising can play in helping society and industry cope and recover, such as how advertising can help persuade consumers to comply with desirable health behaviors (Sundar, Kardes, and Wright 2015), CSR or cause-related advertising initiatives (Coleman et al. 2020), or the role of advertising in public policy designed to promote/protect public health (Kees and Andrews 2019).

Research Notes may be empirical, conceptual, or methodological, and may use quantitative and/or qualitative methodologies. While we offer some potential research questions below as a prompt, it is not an exhaustive list.


  • How can advertising be used to promote socially desirable/responsible behaviors (e.g., social distancing) during a global public health crisis?
  • How do consumers perceive and process different types of advertising during a health pandemic? Can prosocial advertising boost the brand? Can traditional competitive advertising be perceived as uncaring or detached and damage the brand?
  • What is the role of advertising in promoting consumer welfare during the pandemic? What types of messages are most effective to encourage behavioral change and/or compliance with laws/orders to produce consumer well-being? Framing effects?
  • What is advertising’s role in discouraging bad consumer behavior such as panic buying during a pandemic?
  • What role does advertising play in dissemination of credible information or misinformation transmitted over broadcast, print, digital and/or social media? What drives consumer perceptions of trust of the advertising message during a public health crisis (e.g., source credibility)?
  • What advertising tactics and strategies are likely to persist after COVID-19?
  • How do advertising messages change during the course of the pandemic and what impact do that have on consumption?
  • How will the role of advertising agencies change as the result of the pandemic? What strategies will they need to employ to weather the financial impact?


Please follow submission and format guidelines for the Journal of Advertising found on their website.

For the Pop-up Special Section, we invite Research Notes not to exceed 6,000 words maximum (including references, tables, figures, and appendices).

The submission deadline for the Pop-Up Special Section is November 15, 2020.

Submit manuscripts through ScholarOne, at http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/ujoa, during November 1-15, 2020. Be sure to select “SPECIAL SECTION: Advertising and COVID-19.” Also note that:
– All articles will undergo blind peer review by at least two reviewers.
– Authors will be notified no later than December 2020 on the preliminary decision over their manuscript for the next round of review.

The anticipated date for publication of the Special Section is June/July 2021.

Any questions about the Pop-Up Special Section can be sent to the guest editors: Hope Jensen Schau and Laura F. Bright, at jacovid19specialsection@gmail.com.


  • Coleman, Joshua T., Royne-Stafford, Marla B., and Kathrynn R. Pounders (2020), “Pride, Guilt, and Self-Regulation in Cause-Related Marketing Advertisements,” Journal of Advertising, 49(1), 34–60.
  • Graham, Roger C. and Kristina D. Frankenberger (2011), “The Earnings Effects of Marketing Communication Expenditures During Recessions,” Journal of Advertising, 40(2), 5-24.
  • Interactive Advertising Bureau (2020), “Impacts of COVID-19 on Ad Revenue & Ad Spend,” https://www.iab.com/insights/new-researchcoronavirus-ad-revenue-impact-sell-and-buy-side-results/
  • Sundar, Aparna, Frank R. Kardes, and Scott A. Wright (2015), “The Influence of Repetitive Health Messages and Sensitivity to Fluency on the Truth Effect in Advertising,” Journal of Advertising, 44(4), 375–87.
  • Kees, Jeremy and J. Craig Andrews (2019), “Research Issues and Needs at the Intersection of Advertising and Public Policy,” Journal of Advertising, 48(1), 126-135.

“Most Influential Articles of 2019” Recognition

My co-authors and I recently received recognition for our work in the Journal of Current Issues in Research and Advertising with the inclusion of our research on the “Most Influential Articles of 2019” list. This list is compiled each year by the American Academy of Advertising and features top research papers from their three publications – Journal of Advertising, Journal of Interactive Advertising, and Journal of Current Issues in Research and Advertising.

Paper Title: Advertising in a Quantified World: A Proposed Model of Consumer Trust, Attitude Toward Personalized Advertising And Outcome Expectancies
Authors: Nancy H. Brinson, Matthew S. Eastin, and Laura F. Bright
Volume 40, Issue 1, pp.54-72

Abstract: As consumers increasingly integrate quantified self (QS) health and fitness tracking devices into their lives, the data they amass not only offer to help users live healthier lives, but also present opportunities for advertisers to target them with personalized messages based on their health-related behaviors. This survey-based study, utilizing a theoretical foundation of uses and gratifications (U&G) and communication privacy management (CPM), examines perceptions about the expected outcomes of convenient information seeking, personal status, and monetary incentives, in tandem with concerns about information privacy to predict QS health and fitness tracking device use, as well as attitudes about personalized advertising based on these data. Findings from a structural equation model analysis suggest this integrated theoretical approach offers helpful insights to advertisers seeking to leverage consumer data offered by QS health and fitness devices.

Full text available here.

Pandemic Teaching

This semester took an abrupt turn on Friday, March 13th as we began to feel the impacts of the corona virus pandemic in Austin – our campus shut down, students moved out of the dorms, and we began work to move to a completely online teaching environment by Monday, March 30th. Overall, it has been an amazing process to watch and an interesting experiment in providing mentoring and teaching to graduate students over online video platforms while also keeping research teams going.

Many of the interactions I have had with students during this time have focused on academic progress and mental health – how do we stay sane and keep going in an uncertain world? How do we maintain focus on academic work while worrying about a pandemic day in and day out? Will we ever get to go back to a normal campus? These are hard questions with few answers right now which makes the waiting even more challenging. My best advice has been to focus on self care, exercise, connect with others, and do the work when you are feeling motivated and engaged.

Here are some of the resources I have found most helpful in creating online course content and managing students:

Additionally, I made a small investment in creating an online teaching studio in my home office so that I could look a tad bit more professional during my meetings and lectures. We will be teaching online this summer as well as doing hybrid courses in the Fall so I figured it was worth it. The items I ordered have worked out very well and are easy to setup:

Total Investment: $154.89

Home studio setup for virtual teaching.

Hopefully, we will be back on campus together soon – until then, I’ll be Zooming my life away and finding joy in the little things like new virtual backgrounds.
Picture in front of Zoom background

The finished product – Ready for summer school!

#DeleteFacebook Project

Given all of the recent Facebook news, I am excited to announce the release of a new publication in the Journal of Digital and Social Media Marketing. The manuscript entitled “#deletefacebook and the Consumer Backlash of 2018: How Social Media Fatigue, Consumer (Mis)Trust, and Privacy Concerns Shape the New Social Media Reality for Consumers” is now available online in Volume 7.

Here is a brief overview of the research findings from the abstract:

“Facebook’s rise to popularity over the last decade came to a dramatic halt in March 2018 after a massive data breach, including improper use of consumer data, was revealed followed by the most significant one-day stock devaluation in recent history. The business model on which Facebook has sustained itself for years had a fatal flaw, and consumers were the ultimate victims – their backlash began swiftly and was categorized online under the #deletefacebook hashtag. To assess the impact of the #deletefacebook consumer backlash, this research will examine the user-generated content (e.g., tweets) created by consumers during the days immediately following the Cambridge Analytica crisis. This analysis will provide insight into the emergent themes surrounding this brand crisis for Facebook and how consumers wish to move forward in their interactions with the platform. This study used textual analytics to identify topics and extract meanings contained in an unstructured textual dataset composed of Twitter data (e.g., tweets). Data was analyzed using the text analysis software, SAS Text Miner V.12.1. Themes surrounding privacy, Fear of Missing Out (FOMO), helpfulness, and account deactivation emerged from the analysis. Managerial implications for advertisers are presented.”

Thank you to my co-authors Dr. Gary Wilcox and Hayley Rodriguez for their work on this project.

As a follow-up to this piece, we are currently working on a Facebook devaluation timeline that will examine consumer generated social media content from March 2018 to March 2019 as it relates to various Facebook scandals that have been covered in the press. More coming soon!

A new chapter …

I am thrilled to announce that I have joined the faculty of the Stan Richards School of Advertising and Public Relations at the University of Texas at Austin as an Associate Professor of Media Analytics. I received all three of my degrees from UT so this homecoming is extra sweet! More updates coming soon as I adjust to my new role teaching media management and advising doctoral students.

Stan Richards School of Advertising and Public Relations

Moody College of Communication

Still ranked # 1 in the nation!

Hook ’em Horns!

Looking at the Belo Center for New Media from the top of the UT tower.

Looking at the Belo Center for New Media from the top of the UT tower.
(Photo by Ben Bright)