module specification

MC5060 - Advertising Theory and Practice (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module title Advertising Theory and Practice
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 150
101 hours Guided independent study
49 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 65% 40 Advertising Pitch Proposal Written Report (3,500 words)
Oral Examination 35%   Advertising Pitch Oral Presentation (15 minutes)
Running in 2023/24

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
No instances running in the year

Module summary

This module is designed to introduce students to the advertising process and the role it plays within the marketing communications framework. The historical evolution and changing environment of advertising and the impact of technology are explained as background for understanding how advertising works in the 21st century. The content includes advertising theories and models; the strategic advertising brief; how agencies work with clients; how advertising is developed and produced; how advertising is evaluated and measured; the development of offline and online media; how advertising works within the regulatory framework in which advertising operates across markets and cultures.

Module aims

To provide an understanding of:
1. How advertising has developed throughout history and what have been the key social, economic and technological milestones
2. The variety of structures and methods of how clients and agencies work together
3. The range of advertising theories and their basis in economics, psychology, sociology, linguistics
4. How advertising campaigns are conceived, developed, produced, evaluated and measured
5. How to select the relevant tools and develop a fully integrated online and offline advertising plan
6. The regulatory system within which advertising must comply across markets and cultures

The module also aims to assist students in the acquisition of the following skills:
1. Being creative
2. Analysing data/research
3. Application of knowledge and presenting data
4. Communicating/Presenting, orally and in writing
5. Interpersonal including working together in teams, cross cultural awareness, having a positive attitude, negotiation and persuasion


• The historical development of advertising and the social, economic and technological influences
• How advertising agencies are structured and the differing relationships with client companies
• How clients consider the issue of establishing advertising budgets
• The influences on the development of advertising theories, including economic and social factors
• Analysis of how advertising theories have been adapted and adopted by the industry
• How is advertising measured, controlled and evaluated
• Regulatory, legislative and ethical frameworks within which advertising operates
• Detailed analysis of how each stage of an advertising plan is developed from brief to execution
• Analysis and critique of advertising executions
• Examining the range and context of how advertising is assessed and evaluated in the business world

Learning and teaching

This module will be delivered through weekly 2-hour interactive learning sessions and 1-hour appreciation and critique of advertising sessions, which will be enhanced with a full day of activities during the designated Activity Week. This full day event will enable students to select real industry events, speakers and visits to put their class learning in perspective and where possible be arranged in response to what the cohort wish to achieve. In addition to these events, workshops will be made available to enable individual students to focus on an aspect of their personal creative development that they have identified in the gathering of the various elements of their advertising pitch proposals. These elements will make a key input to each student's PDP and there will be scope for each student to discuss with the tutor team how their personal goals in terms of their PDP can be addressed through the content of the activity week programmes.

A key element of the weekly teaching and learning sessions will be for students to reflect on the nature and style of their learning experience. The tutor team will explain all of the various techniques such as lectures, case studies, presentations, role plays, video critiques, reflected readings etc. and lead a discussion on the role that each should play in the weekly sessions. The rich diversity of the London Met student population will enable students to gain insights into customers’ tastes and preferences drawn from across markets and cultures and by participation in structured class discussions designed for this very purpose. Theoretical input will focus on defining and clarifying the topic content to the appropriate level for Year 2 students.

The weekly interactive learning sessions will consist of a combination of theoretical input and problem-based tasks, supported by multimedia, including videos and student centred discussions, peer evaluation of set tasks and problem based group work.  Theoretical input will focus on defining and clarifying the topic content to the appropriate depth and breadth. The 2 hour classroom session will be supported by 1 hour weekly session that allow students to learn, practice and reflect on the critiquing of advertising drawn from a wide variety of markets, cultures and countries, which will be facilitated by tutorial staff and enable students from the different groups to interact.
Students will be directed toward particular journal articles relating to the weekly content, whether it is focused on advertising theory, control or metrics and there will be regular opportunities for critique presentation and review of individual approaches to this style and form of learning.

Weblearn: will be used for the distribution of the Module booklet. It will also be used as an interactive mechanism between students and tutors, for example, to direct students to particular readings or to provide news about the module or the module content. It will also be used for the timely provision of generic feedback following formative assessment.

Learning outcomes

On completing the module students will be able to:
• Demonstrate a critical understanding of the principal theories of advertising as they relate to buyer behaviour and purchase decision making  (1)
• Understand and critique the increasingly complex nature of advertising within the management, delivery and control of strategic marketing communications plans (2)
• Understand and manage the advertising planning process (3)
• Select and use an appropriate mix of tools in response to a specific live pitch brief and support their use (4)
• Present the advertising pitch recommendations in both written report and oral presentation formats (5)

Assessment strategy

Assessment for this module aims to be valid, reliable and consistent, transparent and diverse, ensuring that individual students are not disadvantaged by over reliance on any one particular form of assessment.  Assessment is demanding in that it is continuous and enables the demonstration of excellence. It is designed to guide student’s improvement, to help them self-evaluate, to aid their decision making, to help them learn from their mistakes.
Students are required to produce a comprehensive response to an advertising pitch brief that they will work on throughout the academic session and their response will be required in the following formats, a written pitch document of 3000 words (65% of module marks) and an oral presentation of 15 minutes (35% of module marks).

This teaching and learning approach is responsive to learner needs in that it offers flexibility for the identification and development of individual student learning needs and allows every student the opportunity to complete an assessment at which they have the potential to excel.
The preparation of the advertising pitch recommendations will be on going throughout the Semester. Signpost dates will be set for each item. Students will be able to influence the structure of their work within detailed parameters. Guidance will be given by the tutors to ensure appropriate evidence of meeting all learning outcomes is considered in the final development of their written and oral plan presentation.


Required Book:
Fill, C., Hughes, G., De Francesco, S. Advertising: Strategy, Creativity and Media, Pearson, 2012
Background Reading:
Rodgers, S. & Thorson, E. (Eds) Advertising Theory, Routledge, 2012
Altstiel, T. Advertising Strategy, Thomson, 2006
Green, L. Advertising Works and How, WARC, 2005
Davis, J.J. Advertising Research: Theory and Practice, Prentice Hall, 2011
Outlines & Highlights for Internet Advertising: Theory & Research, Cram texts, 2011
Jones, J. P. Fables, Fashions and Facts about Advertising, SAGE, 2006
Jones, J. P. The Ultimate Secrets of Advertising, SAGE, 2004
Morrison, M. Using Qualitative Research in Advertising, SAGE, 2002
Farley, D. How to Produce Successful Advertising, Kogan Page, 2002
O’Shaughnessy J. O’Shaughnessy N. (2003) Persuasion in Advertising Routledge UK

de Pelsmacker, P., Geuens, M. & Van den Bergh, J., Marketing Communications, A European Perspective 4th ed, FT Prentice Hall 2010 (Available as an E-book.)
Dahlen, M., Lange, F., Smith, T   Marketing Communications: A Brand Narrative Approach, John Wiley, 2009  
Smith. P.R., & Zook. Z., Marketing Communications, 5th ed., Kogan Page 2011
Hackley, C. Advertising and Promotion, 2nd Edition, Sage Publications, 2009

E-journals and e-magazines:

Financial Times
Marketing Week
IPA Effectiveness Award Books
Journal of Marketing
Journal of Advertising Research
Journal of Marketing Research
Journal of Advertising
International Journal of Advertising
Journal of Marketing Communications
Journal of Communication Management