The Role of Sustainability in Advertising


Special issue of the International Journal of Advertising; Deadline 15 Jul 2022

POSTING TYPE: Calls: Journals

Author: Charles Taylor

International Journal of Advertising

Special Issue on The Role of Sustainability in Advertising

GUEST EDITOR: Shelly Rathee, Villanova University


Manuscripts are currently being solicited for an upcoming special issue of the International Journal of Advertising (IJA) dedicated to The Role of Sustainability in Advertising. The fact that the many believe that the planet cannot sustain us at our current levels of consumption has led to serious criticism of marketers and advertisers for not doing enough (McDonagh and Prothero 2014). Therefore, advertising focused on sustainability and industry attention to sustainability have become prominent contemporary trends. Today, a new generation of ecologically conscious consumers are emerging, who are adopting a more sustainable lifestyle, behave more sustainably, and value environmentally sustainable and ethical practices (Deloitte 2021).

Intriguingly, sustainability practices can be an effective advertising and communication tool. According to a research, approximately 33% of British consumers perceive brands as responsible for the environment, and 61% are more likely to switch to a brand that is environmentally friendly (Neoseven 2020). In addition, a study by IBM and the National Retail Federation found that 70% of North Americans believe it is important for a brand to be sustainable or eco-friendly (Bekmagambetova 2020). More focused research on sustainability and advertising is  needed, since most existing research is based on marketing in general (Kumar and Polonsky 2017). We welcome studies that advance our understanding of the role of sustainability in advertising. The focus of topics includes the following but by no means is exhaustive:

  1. Greenwashing in Ads: definition frameworks, relationship between greenwashing and brand perception, types of greenwashing, regulatory limits/impact, trends internationally.
  2. Role of Climate Change: how have advertising themes changed.
  3. Green and Sustainable Advertising: emerging trends in green and sustainable advertising, are they effective, practices around the world.
  4. Economic Trends: has ad spend shifted to more sustainable products and services? Does sustainable ads drive the consumption of sustainable products and services.
  5. Ad Bans/Boycotts: effects/effectiveness of ads bans, pros and cons.
  6. Energy/Environmental Labeling in Ads: psychological and behavioral impact on consumers, lessons from other markets, any real-life or simulated/lab effects.
  7. Measuring Advertising’s Impact on GHG Emissions: estimating the effects of advertising on emissions generally. Emissions from digital advertising. Estimating media footprints.
  8. Sustainability Messages in Ads: effectiveness of sustainability messaging in ads. Does it improve brand competitiveness? How to combat moral disengagement? International trends.
  9. Education: Theoretical models for raising sustainability awareness among advertising industry and consumers. Research on sustainable media literacy. Education through ads, normalization of sustainable behaviors etc.
  10. Future Look at Advertising: perspectives on how advertising will evolve and perhaps what advertising might look like in 2030 and beyond, sustainability in the digital advertising space.

Submission Guidelines and Review Process

Submissions should follow the manuscript format guidelines for IJA at Manuscripts submitted to the special issue should be original contributions and should not be under consideration for any other publication at the same time. Manuscripts should not exceed 8000 words, including references, tables/figures, and appendices.

All manuscripts should be submitted through the IJA online editorial management system at, during the period of July 1 through July 15. Authors should select “Special Issue – The Role of Sustainability in Advertising” as “Article Type”. Please also note in the cover letter that the submission is for the Special Issue on The Role of Sustainability in Advertising. Manuscripts will go through a peer review process.

Special Issue Guest Editor

Shelly Rathee, Assistant Professor of Marketing, Department of Marketing & Business Law, Villanova School of Business, Villanova University, Email:


Bekmagambetova, D. (2020). Two-Thirds of North Americans Prefer Eco-Friendly Brands, Study Finds. Barrons. Retrieved from

Kumar, P., & Polonsky, M. J. (2017). An analysis of the green consumer domain within sustainability research: 1975 to 2014. Australasian Marketing Journal (AMJ)25(2), 85-96.

McDonagh, P., & Prothero, A. (2014). Sustainability marketing research: Past, present and future. Journal of Marketing Management30(11-12), 1186-1219.

Neoseven. (2020). Why is Sustainable Marketing Important Now More than Ever. Neoseven. Retrieved from

Deloitte. (2021). Shifting Sands: Are consumers still embracing sustainability? Deloitte. Retrieved from