Herbert Jack Rotfeld
Professor, Auburn University
Department of Marketing
Scholar, Educator & Iconoclast

schola gratia doctrinae; doctrina gratia eruditionis

Adventures in
        Misplaced MarketingProfessor Rotfeld's research publications are noted (among other things) for his iconoclastic assessments of the common "wisdom" about business practices and consumer persuasion that are frequently -- but as he often finds, erroneously -- repeated without question in many textbooks. He coined the term "misplaced marketing" for his book Adventures in Misplaced Marketing, as well as for essays published in Marketing News, Journal of Consumer Marketing and editorials in Journal of Consumer Affairs that discuss uses, mistakes, criticisms and common misunderstandings of marketing activity. Noted by the editor of a major marketing journal as "a leading essayist in the field of marketing" for his numerous commentary in newspapers, business magazines and academic journals, discussions of advertising practices and business education, observations on consumer views of marketing, and critical assessments of higher education and the nature of academic research, have been reprinted or translated in the U.S. and other countries, generating a degree of  world-wide fame (or, maybe, "infamy"). The decade-long editor of Journal of Consumer Affairs (2002-11) has been elected as Fellow of the American Academy of Advertising, and is an honored recipient of Kim B. Rotzoll Award for Advertising Ethics and Social Responsibility, the Ivan L. Preston Outstanding Contribution to Research Award and the Auburn AAUP chapter's Glenn Howze Academic Freedom Award.Hav'too, D.Og, published author [As president of Auburn's AAUP chapter, his university-prepared a prerecorded presentation was created for their new faculty orientation in 2013.]

American Academy of Advertising
Hav'too, D.Og.
click picture for her essay published
in Marketing Educator

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Remembering special people
Kim Rotzoll (1935-2003) my teacher through multiple college degrees at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, my guide to life as a scholar, and the sage who patiently explained to many how an educator must be conscious of more than assessing how many pedantic details students memorized. A professor of advertising and one-time department head of the house that Charles Sandage built, his important directive for any faculty in a profession-named degree program was that "We must keep in mind we are educating students for their last job, not training them for their first."  Consumers, People and Kim, Journal of Consumer Affairs 38 (Winter 2004): 355-8

Ivan Preston (1931-2011) claimed me as his student, though I was never in his classes nor studied at his University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. We were often in touch, by phone and mail, during my years of graduate study, and I traveled to his home to discuss (and "defend") my doctoral dissertation before I defended the work to my committee in Urbana, Illinois. He published his research and analysis where he thought it could influence people who read it, even though law journals were not the usual outlets for colleagues in his department. His professional life was a proud exemplar of the difference between faculty who publish research to meet a job requirement versus true scholars like him who would hunt for answers to interesting questions wherever the search might lead. Researchers, Scholars and Ivan, Journal of Consumer Affairs 45 (Summer 2011): 358-64.

Articles of special interest
  • Analysis of the inherent limits to the power of business (& advertising) self-regulation, Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 11 (Spring 1992): 87-95
  • "Fear Appeals and Persuasion: Assumptions and Errors in Advertising Research," Current Issues & Research in Advertising, 11 (#1, 1988): 21-40
  • "The Textbook Effect: Conventional Wisdom, Myth, and Error in Marketing," Journal of Marketing, 64 (April 2000): 122-6
  • "A Pessimist's Simplistic Historical Perspective on the Fourth Wave of Consumer Protection," Journal of Consumer Affairs, 44 (Summer 2010): 423-9
  • "The Stealth Influence of Covert Marketing and Much Ado About What May Be Nothing," Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 27 (Spring 2008): 63-8
  • "The Pragmatic Importance of Theory for Marketing Practice," J of Consumer Marketing, 31 (#4, 2014): 322-327
  • "The Advertising Regulation & Self-Regulation Issues Ripped from the Headlines with (Sometimes Missed) Opportunities for Disciplined Multidisciplinary Research, Journal of Advertising, 38 (Winter 2009): 5-14
  • "Toward a Pragmatic Understanding of the Advertising & Public Policy Literature," Journal of Current Issues & Research in Advertising, 29 (Spring 2007): 67-80
  • "The Compatibility of Advertising Regulation and the First Amendment--Another View," Journal of Marketing & Public Policy, 1 (1982): 139-47
  • "How I Met the Late Howard Gossage," on the disk companion for The Book of Gossage, 2nd Edition
  • Annual Report Guidelines, The Irascible Professor (October 29, 2012)
  • Last Journal of Consumer Affairs editorial, "Parting Perspectives from an Aging Editor (& thanks for all the fish)," 45 (Fall 2011): 539-46
  • "Instead of Job Training," Journal of Advertising, 18 (#1, 1989): 3
  • Short presentation recorded for AU's 2013 new faculty orientation as president of the campus chapter of AAUP
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      of Consumer Affairs Journal of Consumer Affairs editorials (2002-2011)
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    Commentary on "Misplaced Marketing" in Journal of Consumer Marketing and "Beyond Products' Brand Management" in Journal of Product & Brand Management.
    "The Marketing Myths and Consumers' Fear of Marketing," J of Consumer Marketing, 26 (#5, 2009): 309-10. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/07363760910976556

     "Function and Problems of Brand Name Pharmaceuticals," J of Product & Brand Management, 18 (#4, 2009): 240-1. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/10610420910972756 reprinted in 18 (#6, 2009): 392-393

    "The Largest Segments That Should Not Be Served: Higher Education Marketing Serving the Growing Slacker Segment," J of Consumer Marketing, 25 (#6, 2008): 378-80. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/07363760810902512

    "Imitation as the Sincerest Form of Ignorance," J of Consumer Marketing, 25 (#4, 2008): 254-5. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/07363760810882443

    "Brand Image of Company Names Matters in Ways that Can't Be Ignored," J of Product & Brand Management, 17 (#2, 2008): 121-2. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/10610420810864739

    "Mistaking a Marketing Perspective for Ethical Analysis: When Consumers Can't Know That They Should Want," J of Consumer Marketing, 24 (#7, 2007): 383-4. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/07363760710834799

    "Mistaking Demographic Segments for People: Another Source of Customer Abuse," J of Consumer Marketing, 24 (#6, 2007): 332-3. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/07363760710822909

    "Is There a Strategy Behind Buying Advertising Time and Space," J of Consumer Marketing, 24 (#3, 2007): 131-2. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/07363760710746120

    "Movie Theaters' Suicide-by-Advertising with Income from Abusing Customers," J of Consumer Marketing, 23 (#7, 2006): 480-2. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/07363760610718069

    "Understanding Advertising Clutter and the Real Solution to Declining Audience Attention to Mass Media Commercial Messages," J of Consumer Marketing, 23 (#4, 2006): 180-1. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/07363760610674301

    "For the Drugs We Need," J of Consumer Marketing, 22 (#7, 2005): 365-8. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/07363760510631093

    "And a Comedian Shall Show Journalists the Way," J of Consumer Marketing, 22 (#3, 2005): 119-20. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/07363760510600312

    "The Cynical Use of Marketing to the Unwitting Consumer," J of Consumer Marketing, 22 (#2, 2005): 60-1. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/07363760510595931

    "A Snapshot or a Painting: Metaphors, Myths, Misuses and Misunderstandings of Marketing Research Information by Journalists and Other People Who Should Know Better," J of Consumer Marketing, 22 (#1, 2005): 4-5. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/07363760510576491

    "Do-not-call as the U.S. Government's Improvement to Telemarketing Efficiency," J of Consumer Marketing, 21 (#4, 2004): 242-4. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/07363760410542147

    "Endowed Faculty Chairs are a Waste of Money (Except Mine)," J of Consumer Marketing, 21 (#2, 2004): 94-6. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/07363760410525650

    "Mismanagement of Misfocused Trade Association Leaders," J of Consumer Marketing, 20 (#4, 2003): 291-3. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/07363760310483667

    "Gardening, Pizza, Tacos, Truck Parts and Fake Jewelry: Misuse and Misdirection of Sex in Advertising," J of Consumer Marketing, 20 (#3, 2003): 189-91. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/07363760310472227

    "Who Do You Hire When the Advertising Audience Isn't You?" J of Consumer Marketing, 20 (#2, 2003): 87-9. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/07363760310464569

    "'It Hurts. Fix It.' The Patients' Lament and Unhealthy Medical Care Marketing," J of Consumer Marketing, 20 (#1, 2003): 7-9. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/07363760310456919

    "The Social Harm of Public Service Advertising," J of Consumer Marketing, 19 (#6, 2002): 465-7. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/07363760210444841

    "'Mine is the Blue One on the Left': Function and Dysfunction of Pharmaceutical Brand Names," J of Consumer Marketing, 19 (#5, 2002): 377-9. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/07363760210437605

    "The Real Reason for the Real Bad Advertising," J of Consumer Marketing, 19 (#4, 2002): 299-301. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/07363760210433618

    "Training Book for the New Store Clerk: 'Go and Be Charming!'" J of Consumer Marketing, 19 (#3, 2002): 185-7. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/07363760210433096

    "Imagine the Television Commercial: 'No Stems, No Seeds That You Don't Need, Baja Gold's a Real Smooth Weed'," J of Consumer Marketing, 18 (#5, 2001): 389-91. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/EUM0000000005601

    "A Service Economy Whose Employees say: 'Customer Service Is Not My Job!'" J of Consumer Marketing, 18 (#2, 2001): 99-101. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/07363760110385974

    "Meanwhile, At the Service Desk: 'Hello! Is Anyone Here?'" J of Consumer Marketing, 17 (#7, 2000): 573-4. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/07363760010357778

    "'Dumbth' Adventures in Retailing," J of Consumer Marketing, 17 (#5, 2000): 384-5. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/07363760010372663

    "When Marketing Misplaces the Benefits of Education," J of Consumer Marketing, 16 (#5, 1999): 415-17. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/07363769910289523

    "Misplaced Marketing of Product 'Life' After the Sale," J of Consumer Marketing, 16 (#4, 1999): 312-13 http://www.auburn.edu/~rotfehj/ProductsAfterSale-JCM.pdf

    "Social Marketing and Myths of Appeals to Fear," J of Consumer Marketing, 16 (#2, 1999): 119-21. http://www.auburn.edu/~rotfehj/socialmarketing&fear.pdf

    "Wham! Spam! And Direct Misplaced Marketing," J of Consumer Marketing, 16 (#1, 1999): 7-8. http://www.auburn.edu/~rotfehj/SpamIncentives.pdf

    "Misplaced Marketing: When Consumers or Society Are Not Satisfied," J of Consumer Marketing, 15 (#6, 1998): 523. http://www.auburn.edu/~rotfehj/MisplacedMktgDefn.pdf

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