Dr. Karen Whitehill King

Jim Kennedy New Media Professor, Advertising

About: Dr. King teaches advertising media planning, advertising campaigns and advertising research. Her research interests include advertising industry issues and health communication.

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Ph.D., Communications, University of Illinois
M.S., Advertising, University of Illinois
B.S., Advertising, University of Illinois

Research Interests and Activities

Dr. King’s research principally focuses on health communications and advertising industry issues. She has published her research in leading academic journals including Journal of Advertising, Journal of Advertising Research, Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, Journal of Current Issues and Research in Advertising, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Journal of Newspaper Research, Journal of Health Care Marketing and Journalism Educator. She was the editor of the 1994 Proceedings of the American Academy of Advertising Conference. In addition, Dr. King has presented her work at numerous advertising, marketing and mass communication academic conferences.

A Meta-Analysis of the Impact of Media Context on Ad Attitudes Karen Whitehill King

Abstract: The role of media context in advertising engagement has been the subject of interest for advertisers and media practitioners over the past 50 years. However, there remains a lack of understanding and clarity on the relationship between media context and ad effectiveness. To unify previous literature and provide a bigger picture of the relationship, […]

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Brands, Friends, & Viral Advertising Karen Whitehill King

Abstract: Advertisers worldwide are designing advertising with an eye toward viral activity particularly within social networking sites such as Facebook. Yet, little is known about the social processes at play when ads are shared. Taking a consumer-centric approach, this study investigates the social processes central to ads going viral within the Social Web. Conducting a national […]

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Teaching Specialties

Her primary teaching interests are media planning, advertising account planning/research and advertising campaigns. With Margaret Morrision at the University of Tenneesee, Dr. King coauthored a textbook supplement, Media Buying Simulation. She is a member of the Graduate Faculty and was a participant in the UGA Lilly Teaching Fellows program. In 1999, she was named the Donald G. Hileman Educator of the Year by the American Advertising Federation’s Seventh District for her work with the University of Georgia Ad Club and campaign competition team.


Prior to joining the Grady College, Dr. King worked at Foote, Cone and Belding Communications, Inc. in Chicago as a media buyer/planner and a research supervisor. While on the faculty at UGA, she has been a visiting communication researcher at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta working on their AIDS public service campaign and a visiting professor at Lintas in New York. She served as a research consultant to Searle, Sylvan Learning Centers, Promedica, WAGA-TV and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Awards and Fellowships

In September 2001, Dr. King was nominated to UGA’s Teaching Academy. The Academy recognizes excellence in teaching and exists to promote improved teaching throughout the University.

King, Karen
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