Conference 7-8 November 2017

NEW: Conference programme available here

Keynote Speakers


Professor Joseph Turow, Robert Lewis Shayon Professor of Communication, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania



Joseph Turow is Robert Lewis Shayon Professor of Communication at the Annenberg School for Communication. His most recent books are The Aisles Have Eyes: How Retailers Track Your Shopping, Strip Your Privacy, and Define Your Power (Yale, 2017) and Media Today: Mass Communication in a Converging World (Routledge, Fall 2016; Serbian edition in two volumes, 2015).  In 2011 Yale University Press published his book The Daily You: How the New Advertising Industry is Defining Your Identity and Your World (Yale, 2011; Turkish edition, 2015). Other books reflecting current interests are Niche Envy: Marketing Discrimination in the Digital Age (MIT Press, 2006), Breaking Up America: Advertisers and the New Media World (University of Chicago Press, 1997; paperback, 1999; Chinese edition 2004); and The Hyperlinked Society: Questioning Connections in the Digital Age (edited with Lokman Tsui, University of Michigan Press, 2008).


Professor Mara Einstein, Queens College, City of New York University

Mara Einstein
Mara Einstein

Dr. Einstein is the author of Black Ops Advertising (OR Books 2016) which examines the many ways—from native advertising to branded journalism—that we are marketed to but are not fully aware of. Her previous books include  Compassion, Inc.: How Corporate America blurs the line between what we buy, who we are and those we help (University of California Press, 2012), a work that examines the growing trend of promoting and selling consumer products as a means to fund social causes. Other books include Brands of faith: Marketing religion in a commercial age (Routledge, 2007), and Media Diversity: Economics, Ownership and the FCC (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2004).

Dr. Einstein is recognized as an authority on consumer culture as well as marketing religion and spirituality, and has been quoted in numerous publications from the New York Times to the Los Angeles Times to BusinessWeek. She has appeared on HuffPost Live, The Brian Lehrer Show, The Diane Rehm Show, Culture Shocks, and numerous local NPR programs. Dr. Einstein has also written for Advertising Age, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Newsday, and Broadcasting & Cable as well as having her work appear on numerous popular blogs and in academic journals and edited texts.


Dr Anne Cronin, Lancaster University

Anne Cronin
Anne Cronin

Dr. Anne Cronin is the author of  Advertising, Commercial Spaces and the Urban (Palgrave 2010). Her previous books include Advertising Myths: The Strange Half-Lives of Images and Commodities (Routledge, 2004) and Advertising and Consumer Citizenship: Gender, Images and Rights (Routledge 2000). She is currently researching the Public Relations industry and its relationship to contemporary advertising, marketing and promotional culture in the context of neoliberal capitalism. The PR industry has expanded rapidly in recent years and its practices have shifted to address a range of social and technological changes (e.g. public cynicism towards mainstream media and ‘spin’, public disengagement from diverse civic institutions, and the rise of social media). Such shifts heighten the importance of understanding PR’s role in attempting to shape and direct ‘public opinion’ and in interpellating or crafting what come to be framed as ‘publics’.



There will be research papers, presentations, panel discussions and workshops involving an international line-up of scholars and industry speakers. These include:

Dr. Michelle A. Amazeen, Boston University. How Audience Characteristics and Sponsorship Transparency Affect Recognition of Native Advertising and Perceptions of Publishers (paper co-authored with Dr. Bartosz W. Wojdynski, University of Georgia)
Stefania Antonioni, University of Urbino Carlo Bo. Branded entertainment takes its space: how the urban form could be a “new” playground for branded contents.
Prof. Sandra Arrivé, IPAG Business School, Paris. Digital brand content: antecedents and effects of a spreading communication practice.
Bjoern Asmussen, Serena Wider and Tribikram Budhathoki (Oxford Brookes University); Ross Williams, Neil Stevenson and Elliot Whitehead (Ipsos MORI); Andrew Canter (Global CEO, Branded Content Marketing Association). What is Branded Content? A collaborative investigation of competing institutional logics in the marketing communications industry
Dr. Nils S. Borchers, University of Leipzig. Managing Authenticity: Social Media Influencer Communication as an Emerging Format of Branded Content.

Ágnes Buvar, Corvinus Unversity of Budapest. Ad or not: Advertising recognition of branded media contents
Prof. Paul Grainge, University of Nottingham. Ancillary Academia: Branded content and the production of university video shorts.
Dr. Mohammed Ibahrine, American University of Sharjah. Mapping Branded Content in the United Arab Emirates.
Dr Neil O’Boyd, Dublin City University. Branded content in destination marketing: A case study of Tourism Ireland.
Laura Cañete Sanz and Sjors Martens, University of Murcia. Jerrygotchi’s and Alien Mating Simulators on Instagram: The Branded Content Strategy of the Rickstaverse.
Niina Uusitalo, University of Tampere. The how-to of compelling content: A critical examination of strategic guides for content marketing.
Dr. Anne Marit Waade, Aarhus University, Location placement in screen productions: New Nordic Noir.
Prof. Guido Zurstiege, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Advertising and Responsibility in an Age of Automation.

There will be contributions from industry practitioners and professional associations including Andrew Canter, Global CEO, Branded Content Marketing Association and Catherine Maskell, Managing Director, Content Marketing Association.

The conference will address the following key themes:
  • Investigating branded content practices and practitioners
  • Mapping the media-marketing ecology of actors, automation and processes across marketers, agencies and communications
  • Regulating branded content, native advertising and editorial/advertising integration
  • Media-marketing convergence and higher education: teaching, learning and institutional arrangements
  • Building capacity for research and collaboration

A full draft programme will be available from early September. The conference takes place at the University of East London’s Docklands Campus, E16 2RD.
On Tuesday 7 there will be registration from 2pm and welcome and meetings from 2.30pm, with an open, public meeting on branded content practice and regulation, in the evening (6.30-8.30pm) at UEL’s Stratford Square campus. On Wednesday 8 November, the conference begins with a plenary at 9.30am and finishes at 5:45pm followed by a drinks reception.

Conference Arrangements

You can register for Wednesday 8 only or for both Tuesday and Wednesday. All events are free but places are limited and advance booking is required. It is vital for planning, catering and budgeting that we have accurate numbers. So if you book and are unable to attend please cancel at the earliest opportunity and no later than 31 October please. Register here

Lunch and drinks refreshments will be provided for all at the conference on 8 November.

The University has discount rates at hotels nearby should you wish to book those. They are the Holiday Inn which you can book at a discounted rate quoting UEL’s Corporate ID number (email for details) . The Holiday Inn at Excel is closest to the conference venue at UEL Docklands Campus. The Holiday Inn at Stratford will be a longer journey to the conference (taking around 30 mins max) but may be more convenient for access to central London and has more shops, bars and amenities nearby.  An alternative, similarly priced and convenient hotel is Travelodge at Stratford. An alternative but more expensive hotel is The Westbridge Hotel in Stratford There is a 10% discount available on the standard rates (email for details).
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