Journalism and Mass Communications, College of


Date of this Version



Published (as Chapter 28) in The Handbook of International Advertising Research, First Edition, edited by Hong Cheng (John Wiley & Sons, 2014), pp. 575–591.


Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Used by permission.


Since the end of World War II and the subsequent emergence of new democracies and free market societies in Europe and parts of Asia, advertising practitioners and educators have recognized that advertising students needed to be prepared to work in international markets (Miracle, 2008; Dunn, 1994). The global advertising industry began to grow rapidly, and it was no longer enough to just compete within the United States. Despite the recent global economic recession, global advertising spending reached US$ 485.4 billion in 2011, with North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific accounting for 33.1%, 30.0%, and 26.1%, respectively (WARC, 2012). The Asia- Pacific region is growing the fastest in terms of spending, from 23.9% in the 2010 global advertising expenditure (US$ 446.5 billion), for example (WARC, 2012).

The dominance of the American advertising industry in the global marketplace is also reflected in the many advertising curricula in higher education institutions across the country that are preparing their students to compete in a globalized world. While international students often come to the United States to learn “how advertising works,” American students used to learn about international markets mostly from within the United States (Dunn, 1994).

Legendary advertising educators such as Charles Sandage (University of Illinois), S. Watson Dunn (University of Missouri), and Gordon Miracle (Michigan State University) were among the first who urged the academy to focus its research efforts on international advertising and communication, so that students could benefit from understanding and operating in markets outside the United States. Since the early days of international advertising education in the 1960s, most international advertising research has focused on theory, practice, public policy, and research methods (Taylor, 2005). Zinkhan (1994) added an additional topic to the international advertising research agenda: education. More specifically, he recommended an exploration of the most effective ways to educate students and managers about international advertising. While some progress has been made, more research is needed in terms of both the international advertising curriculum and instruction.

The purpose of this chapter is to summarize the relevant literature about international advertising education and to provide an overview of subtopics that need to be researched further. The chapter focuses primarily on international advertising education and how it is taught in the United States, but also references issues affecting curriculum and pedagogy in other countries. The discussion is rooted in Shulman’s (1986) “pedagogical content knowledge” (PCK) framework, which focuses on the relationship between content and strategy. In addition, understanding the current state of international advertising education requires basic knowledge of how advertising programs are held accountable for what they teach and how they assess and improve academic quality. Accreditation plays an important role in determining what kind of research is needed in this area in the United States, as one of the values and competencies required by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (ACEJMC) is to prepare students to work in a diverse global society (ACEJMC, 2010). The chapter also includes a brief history of international advertising education that provides the context for future studies. Finally, the chapter summarizes major findings of relevant studies, covers trends in international advertising education, and provides future directions for researchers interested in international advertising education.