Violence and Abuse


Advertising and its Connection to Violence and Abuse, Special issue of Journal of Advertising, Edited by Nora J. Rifon, Marla Royne and Les Carlson; Deadline 31 Mar 2009

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Call for Submissions
Journal of Advertising
Special Issue
Advertising and its Connection to
Violence and Abuse

Special Issue Editors

Nora J. Rifon, Michigan State University
Marla Royne, University of Memphis
Les Carlson, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Manuscripts are solicited for a special issue of The Journal of Advertising devoted to the connection of advertising-related media on violence and abuse. Authors may submit empirical or theoretical papers, including literature reviews that offer strong theoretical frameworks for research programs, content analyses, surveys, and experiments.

Violence is defined by the World Health Organization as, “the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment or deprivation.” The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has identified violence to and abuse of children and youth as a tragic and preventable global public health problem. Child abuse, suicide, sexual abuse, youth violence, and related psychological disorders of self-abuse, are on the rise.

While much attention has been focused on violence in the general media with respect to mostly entertainment content, few researchers have actively studied issues related to commercial media content – ADVERTISING — and the role it may play in fostering violence by and abuse of children and adults in its many active and passive forms. Several recent phenomena suggest that it is time for researchers to focus on this topic.

A spate of recent highly visible advertising campaigns using violent themes, imagery, and acts elicited heightened scrutiny after the 2007 Superbowl. There are a growing number of highly successful video games with violence at their core such as Grand Theft Auto, World of Warcraft, and Halo to name a few, that receive advertising support. There are also a growing number of advertising-based Internet games offered and freely accessible to even young children. Indeed, the success of entertainment vehicles is highly dependent on advertising support systems. The recent intermingling of advertising and entertainment content points to the pivotal role of advertising for defining cultural norms and influencing behaviors of violence, abuse to others and self, and neglect.

Research questions and topics that may be addressed include but are not limited to:

  • What are the magnitude, scope, and character of violence in advertising?
  • Symbolic consumption of violence
  • Dehumanization in advertising
  • Media literacy
  • Public policy issues related to violence and advertising
  • Social Advertising and violence reduction
  • New media, gaming and violence consumption as a contributor to active and passive child abuse.
  • Special concerns for youth
  • Is violence in advertising a correlate or contributing cause to violent behavior?
  • In what ways does advertising influence violence and abuse?
  • What is the potential role of advertising in the creation of violence to and abuse of children in modern society?
  • Stereotyping and degradation
  • Regulatory issues for violence in advertising
  • Websites as advertising support for violent media content
  • Advertising of children’s toys
  • Advertising of weapons
  • Social Advertising and child abuse prevention
  • Violence in sports marketing
  • Framing of messages for the prevention of child abuse
  • Socialization agent influences on the effects of violence in advertising

Submissions should follow the manuscript format guidelines for the Journal of Advertising found at

Manuscripts should be submitted electronically to and in the subject line type Violence Issue.

General Submission Requirements

All submissions, reviewing, and notification regarding the special issue will be conducted electronically, by email. Submission deadline: March 31, 2009.

Submission Information

In the body of your email, please provide:

  • Title of Paper
  • Primary contact person’s name, affiliation, mailing address, phone number, fax number, and email address
  • Names of other co-authors/participants, their affiliations,
  • Key Words: 3 to 5 key words that identify the topic and the methods used in the research.

Electronic format for submission: Your submission will be a word document sent as an email attachment. All submissions should be scanned for viruses. Make sure to save a copy of your submission information until notification of the final decision. Please ensure that submissions do not have author names on the title page.

Acknowledgement of receipt: The primary contact person will receive an acknowledgement of receipt of your submission by email. If you do not receive an acknowledgement email within a couple of days of submission, you should send an email inquiring about the status of your submission to Nora Rifon or Les Carlson.

Nora J. Rifon
Professor Department of Advertising, Public Relations, & Retailing
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824-1212


Les Carlson
Professor of Marketing
310 College of Business Administration
Department of Marketing
PO Box 880492
University of Nebraska Lincoln, NE 68588-0492

Because reviewing will be blind, authors should refrain from identifying themselves or their affiliations in the body of the paper and in footnotes. Please note that it is the submitting author’s responsibility to make sure that the document does not contain any identifying information when saved as a Word file. (Right click on the file in Windows Explorer and go to “Properties” and then “Summary” to ensure that all identifying information is removed.)