Posts By / jdknott

PCCC thought leadership underpins Government report on Digital Competition

Dr. Sevil Yesiloglu, from the Promotional Cultures & Communication Centre (PCCC), formed part of the Digital Competition Expert Panel established by Phillip Hammond, the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

As a contributor of the Panel, she examined the impact of the emergence of small number of big players in digital markets such as social media, e-commerce, search and online advertising and opportunities to enhance competition. This document makes valuable recommendations for changes to the UK’s competition framework.

Dr. Yesiloglu said “with the rise of digital economy, to understand the opportunities and challenges is crucial to strengthen the competition that can drive innovation and create great opportunities for start sups as well as big digital firms”. For more information please visit:


Student research published in the Journal of Promotional Communications- New issue out

The editorial board of the Journal of Promotional Communications (JPC) would like to announce the publication of its new issue.  Volume 6 Number 3 is now available for download at:

In this issue, we include the top six papers presented at last year’s Promotional Communications annual conference organised by the Corporate & Marketing Communications (CMC) Department in the Faculty of Media and Communication.  Papers deal with subjects that many of you will find very interesting and topical (branding politics, Trump, gender equality, neuromarketing, monetisation and public health).

The journal was launched in 2013 with the help of BU Fusion Funding and is the first open-access, peer-review journal for the study of promotional cultures and communication to publish outstanding undergraduate and postgraduate work.  More recently the journal has published issues showcasing excellent collaborative papers written by BU students and their tutors.

The journal welcomes submissions from a range of disciplinary areas, including, but not limited to advertising, cultural studies, consumer research, sociology and political communications

If you would like to get involved with the journal or edit a special issue on a topic of relevance, please contact the editors: (Janice Denegri-Knott, or Carrie Hodges, 

Guest talk by Sian Lindley from Microsoft Research on digital possession and design to be held Wednesday 28th of June at 3PM in F105

Faculty of Media and Communication

Faculty Research Seminar

28th June 2017

A Promotional Cultures and Communication Centre

Research Seminar

Venue: F105, Fusion Building, Talbot Campus, Bournemouth University, Fern Barrow, Poole, Dorset, BH12 5BB

Wednesday 28th June 2017 at 3pm



Sian Lindley – Microsoft Research 

Designing Interactions for Digital Possessions

It is well known that people struggle to manage, curate and keep track of their digital possessions. This is exacerbated as our relationships and interactions with digital materials diversify, shifting from the notion of files stored on a computer to material that is shared with different people, saved as different versions over time, and distributed and propagated across services and devices. I will draw on user research and design work in asking how new paradigms for user interactions might address these issues, and enable people to be more aware and in control of their digital content.

All are welcome and we look forward to seeing you there!

About the series

This new seminar series showcases current research across different disciplines and approaches within the Faculty of Media and Communication at BU. The research seminars include invited speakers in the fields of journalism, politics, narrative studies, literature, media, communication and marketing studies.  The aim is to celebrate the diversity of research across departments in the faculty and also generate dialogue and discussion between those areas of research.


Contributions include speakers on behalf of 

The Centre for Politics and Media Research

Promotional Cultures and Communication Centre

Centre for Public Relations Research and Professional Practice

Centre for the Study of Journalism, Culture and Community (JRG/NRG/Civic Media)

Centre for Intellectual Property Policy & Management

Conflict, Rule of Law and Society


Centre for Film and Television


PCCC study in collaboration with the University of Southampton sheds light on new brand relationships

A Promotional Cultures and Communication Centre (PCCC) study in collaboration with the University of Southampton using Transactional Analysis (TA) to shed light on new brand relationships has been published in a high-ranking journal.

The paper titled ‘Games people play with brands: An application of transactional analysis to marketplace relationships’ authored by Georgiana Grigore and Becky Jenkins with Mike Molesworth (University of Southampton) is now available online in Marketing Theory:

In this paper, the authors use TA as an analytic to understand the complexity of marketplace relationships, and consumer-brand relationships in particular. The article shows how TA can be applied to the relations between different market actors to reveal underlying psychological structures that produce emotional ‘payoffs’, including dysfunctional ones. The benefits of such an approach are threefold. First, TA is more accessible than other psychoanalytic approaches, although it retains a biographical explanation of human motivations that are made absent in cognitive, or behavioural approaches. Second, the focus on ‘transactions’ allows us to examine specific exchanges between market actors that explain dysfunctional aspects of marketplace relationships. Finally, TA can provide both new and critical perspectives, and the possibility of transformation of relationship forms. The authors therefore explain the structural basis of marketplace relationships from a TA perspective, illustrate how TA Game Analysis can be applied to marketplace relationships, and discuss the implications of such an approach for transforming market practices.



Relationships have been normalized in marketing theory as mutually beneficial, long-term dyads. This obscures their emotional content, ignores critical conceptualizations of corporate exploitation and fails to capture the range of possible marketplace relationship forms, including those that may result from individuals’ biographical psychology and that lead to repeated dysfunctional exchanges. In this article, we offer Berne’s (1964) transactional analysis (TA) as a way to uncover the biographical psychology that informs marketplace relationship structures and their accompanying emotions and to provide a critique of such arrangements. We first explain TA, its origins, its relationship with psychoanalysis, its limitations and contemporary extensions beyond therapy. We then present the structural basis of marketplace relationships from a TA perspective, before illustrating how a game in TA can be applied through an analysis of the iPhone and related mobile phone contracts and the Games If I didn’t Love Apple and Smallprint. Finally, we discuss the implications of such an approach for transforming market practices based on recognition of marketplace Games and their modification.

PCCC study finds that choice in HE can be more about managing relationships between parent and child than just making the ‘right choice’​

Helen Haywood and Richard Scullion have had their paper titled ‘It’s quite difficult letting them go, isn’t it?’ UK parents’ experiences of their child’s higher education choice process accepted for publication in ‘Studies in Higher Education’, a prestigious 3 star journal. The paper derives from Helen’s doctoral research on parents’ experiences of their child’s Higher Education choice process. The main findings include that parents experience this process, not as ‘rational’ consumers, in the way that much government and HEI communication assumes, but primarily as parents whose main aim at this key stage in their relationship with their child is to maintain this relationship and to minimise any arguments and conflict. ‘Relationship maintenance’ is thus the main theme. In some cases, parents are prepared to go to considerable lengths in order to manage this process and to ‘keep the peace’ with their adolescent child and their experiences are vividly captured in lengthy quotations which derive from the qualitative, interpretive research undertaken with this under-researched group. The findings in this paper will resonate with parents and particularly parents of adolescents. It also has important implications for HEIs and government policies and focuses on an often neglected facet of choice – the role of relationships in making choices.
This paper challenges the dominant discourse that Higher Education (HE) choice is a consumer choice and questions assumptions underpinning government policy and HE marketing. HE choice is largely viewed as a rational, decontextualized process. However, this interpretivist study found it to be much more complex, and to be about relationships and managing a transition in roles. It focuses on parents, an under-researched group, who play an increasing part in their child’s HE choice. It finds that they experience this process primarily as parents, not consumers and that their desire to maintain the relationship at this critical juncture takes precedence over the choice of particular courses and universities. The role of relationships, and in this context relationship maintenance, is the main theme. This is experienced in two principal ways: relationship maintenance through conflict avoidance and through teamwork. These significant findings have implications for the way governments and universities consider recruitment.

To read the full article, please click on the below link:

PCCC’s 2017 Biennial Seminar Held in London

Day of Deviance

Thoughts from the fringes and future deviations in consumer and brand research

The Promotional Cultures and Communication Centre (PCCC) hosted a one-day seminar under the theme of ‘deviance’ on 16 March 2017 at the  Hunterian Museum in London. The event involved researchers from the fields of critical marketing, consumer culture, branding, popular culture and punk. The aim was to generate discussions around discordant theories, digressive methodologies, deviant consumers and disruptive brands.

Academics invited were those who are (or have) been providing a discordant voice in the literature, or been researching in an area that could be perceived as deviant, or been exploring a sector considered as marginal, or some of their views expressed in some of their work could be considered as deviant. According to Dr Tauheed Ramjaun, lead organiser of the event: “The idea was to gather an eclectic mix of participants to stimulate debate but also to encourage a cross-fertilisation of ideas around non-mainstream perspectives”.

Participants were given the opportunity to present think pieces of five minutes about their topic of interest in an informal setting. Presentations included themes like extraterrestrial consumption, consuming the Third Reich, the voluntary consumption of physical pain, marketing and industrious modernity, the normalisation of consumer deviance, glitch as a methodological device, critique of the service-dominant logic, pursuing gay masculinities through consumption practices, the evolution of punk, etc. Our colleagues Maria Musarskaya, Chris Miles and Stuart Armon also contributed to the event.

This seminar follows the very successful Seminar by the Sea (2011) and Contemplating in the City (2014) organised previously by the PCCC. According to Dr Janice Denegri-Knott, Head of PCCC: “It was a day of thought-provoking discussion.  The productive and often dangerous quality of the ‘deviant’  was clearly evident in the think pieces that were shared on the day and the conversation they initiated.  A number of collaborations are in the pipeline as a result of this, and we look forward to our next seminar in 2019′”.

An ‘Early Reflections’ booklet for industry is currently under production as a follow-up to the event. The next event will be organised in 2019 in collaboration with another academic institution.

PCCC success with industry-student collaborative research

A project led by Dr. Georgiana Grigore, a member of FMC/CMC’s Promotional Cultures & Communication Centre, has received a prestigious industry award.  The Millennial Rules project won an award for Excellence in Research Presentation at the Media Research Awards, hosted by Mediatel on the 23rd of February. This is an example of innovative fused activity where students work with experts from media organizations and their tutors to develop and co-create excellent research.

Neil Sharman, a freelance researcher, delivered a guest talk for Consumer Culture and Behaviour that led to a collaborative project with the Marketing Society, Metro, Mail Online and CrowdDNA.  As part of this collaborative work, three students from the Marketing Society – Jack Goss, Iona Kelly and Emily Richardson – won £1,000 between them after impressing judges with their marketing insights. The students were selected with 10 others to take part in a special workshop day all about Millennials and the Media. The workshop was part of a research project for the Mail Online and Metro newspaper, which aimed to discover more about how Millennials use media. James Harrison, president of the BU Marketing Society at the time, added: “This was a really great opportunity for our members to take part in and the Marketing Society is pleased to have helped make it happen. We continually strive to organise events and opportunities that inspire our members and develop their knowledge in the world of marketing and advertising.”

 Neil, who came up with the idea of the project was impressed with the student’s enthusiasm. He said: “We had some start students in the room and we learnt lots from the insights they produced. They represented BU and their generation brilliantly.” Throughout the day the students worked on a range of tasks to define their marketing and advertising insights with help from experts at the Mail Online, the Metro and CrowdDNA. Neil wishes to pass his thanks onto the Marketing Society for contributing to the success of this project.


More details about it can be found here:


New issue on Thought Leadership for PR published in FMC-CMC’s Journal of Promotional Communications

FMC-CMC colleagues,  Natasha Tobin and Janice Denegri-Knott, and BA Public Relations student, Anna Lapacz , are pleased to announce the latest issue of the Journal of Promotional Communications:  Vol 5, No 1 (2017): Special Edition on Thought Leadership for PR: 

The articles in this issue have been prepared by recent graduates of Bournemouth University’s BA (Hons) Public Relations degree who are now working in public relations and marketing.  They were conceived as Thought Leadership articles for PR professionals during the L6 Professional PR Unit led by me, Heather Yaxley and Joyce Costello.

The 12 articles cover a lot of ground: from Virtual Reality in PR, to brand building and using Snapchat to reach younger voters during elections.  Several of the articles also investigate aspects of practice, such as clients’ expectations of corporate social responsibility to the emerging PR industry in Bulgaria, which given the country’s political and social legacy, has taken a different track from the Western model.

The editorial team hope that you’ll enjoy the latest edition of the Journal of Promotional Communications

CMC’s Promotional Cultures and Communication Centre wins prestigious industry research award

CMC’s Promotional Cultures and Communication Centre (PCCC) is delighted to announce that the recent research project they undertook for Exterion Media won ‘Best Research Initiative’ at last week’s Media Research Group Awards.  The MRG is the industry group for research professionals working in media related roles and is a great showcase for the work we do here.

The project was titled ‘The Mood of the Underground’ and undertaken in partnership with COG Research, a leading independent research agency.  It comprised of a number of elements: a literature review undertaken by PCCC- CMC; a proposed approach recommended by CMC; primary research completed by PCCC-CMC and COG, and delivery of the final debrief written by PCCC-CMC and COG.

Congratulations to Stuart Armon, Rebecca Jenkins, Chris Miles, Georgiana Grigore, Janice Denegri-Knott, Jill Nash and Shenel McLawrence who worked on this project.

New research on interactivity in advertising published by Dr. Chris Miles

We are constantly told how enabling and empowering new interactive digital technologies are. How they free us to talk back to and build relationships with brands, allow us to organise ourselves as consumers, and stimulate marketers to find more relevant and less manipulative ways of communicating with us.  Yet, how true is this really?

A chapter written by Dr. Chris Miles and published in a new Routledge collection, Explorations in Critical Studies in Advertising, investigates the optimistic claims for interactive advertising as a liberating platform for dialogue and co-creation and concludes that they are largely rhetorical strategies designed to persuade decision-makers of the terrifying prospects of losing brand control to consumers. As Dr. Miles concludes, “powerful keywords such as ’empowerment’, ‘interactivity’, and ‘dialogue’ act as discursive grounds for a fearful rededication to the goal of control”. Carefully analysing the ways in which both academic researchers in advertising and practitioner pundits talk about interactive strategies, Dr. Miles found a curious mixture of ostensibly celebratory language alongside terms and comparisons designed to unnerve and threaten marketers and management. The result, argues Dr. Miles, is both an understanding and practice of interactivity which largely serve to consolidate advertising’s traditional control orientation.
Dr. Miles’ chapter is part of the collection Exploration in Critical Studies of Advertising, edited by James Hamilton, Robert Bodle and Ezequiel Korin, and published by Routledge. A full chapter list and outline can be found at the publishers’ site here (link:​.
Dr. Chris Miles is a Senior Lecturer in Marketing & Communication in the Department of Corporate and Marketing Communication. He is a member of the PCCC Research Centre and Head of the BU Advertising Research Group. His research focuses on the discursive construction of marketing theory and practice, particularly as it relates to communication and control. His book, Interactive Marketing: Revolution or Rhetoric?, was published by Routledge in 2010. He is currently working on another monograph for Routledge exploring the relationship between marketing, rhetoric and magic.

CMC-FMC collaboration shortlisted for prestigious industry award



BU’s Promotional Cultures & Communication Centre in CMC-FMC, has recently completed a research project for Exterion Media Ltd., in partnership with Cog Research, which sought to understand more fully the way in which commuters engage with advertising on the Tube.

The research has just been shortlist for ‘Best Research Inititative‘ in the Media Research Group awards.  The awards celebrate the achievements of the media research industry.

Further details about the project can be found here and in recent media coverage here.

There are plans to submit the project to the 2017 Admap Prize and ESOMAR awards.

FMC-CMC’s Journal of Promotional of Communications Publishes New Volume


The editorial board of the Journal of Promotional Communications would like to announce that Volume 4 Number 1 is now available for download at:

Stephen Waddington, Partner and Chief Engagement Officer at Ketchum, writes the introductory commentary on the future of Public Relations. Seven papers follow, tackling pressing issues in promotional and political communication. The journal was launched in 2013 and is the first open-access, peer-review journal for the study of promotional cultures and communication to publish outstanding undergraduate and postgraduate work. This number includes seven outstanding papers penned by FMC-CMC students that had presented their research at CMC’s 6th Annual Promotional Communications Conference.

CMC students can choose to write a traditional dissertation of 10,000 words or write a research paper in the style of an 8,000-word journal article and deliver a 20-minute paper at the student conference.

Dr.Dan Jackson, Dr Richard Scullion, Dr Carrie Hodges, and Dr Janice Denegri-Knott received BU Fusion Funding to launch both the conference and the journal.

Research on digital consumption makes the Journal of Marketing Management Editor’s Choice List

Two papers on digital consumption co-authored by Dr Janice Denegri-Knott have been selected to appear in the Journal of Marketing Management’s new Editor’s Choice collection on digital consumption, and will be available free online until the end of November, 2016.

Redistributed consumer desire in digital virtual worlds of consumption

In this paper we discuss and illustrate how the use of software available in digital virtual worlds of consumption, including wish lists, watch lists and digital virtual goods (DVGs) interact with consumer desiring practices. We draw on a data set of three interpretative studies with technology users living in the South of England. We note the emergence of software-human desiring hybrids where various aspects of competence in and commitment to desire construction, maintenance and actualisation are distributed between subject and software, leading to new configurations of consumer desire. We bring to the fore the often neglected role of nonhuman agents in the practice of consumer desire and highlight the potential breaks caused in the assemblage of the practices unfolding in digital virtual worlds of consumption. Our study shows new ways in which consumer desire practices are re-assembled in software-human hybrids, thereby enhancing our understanding of the role of nonhuman agents (software) in consumer desire practices. It also contributes a finer understanding on how software used in the construction and actualization of desire ultimately reconfigure consumer desire practices into a management process, where the focus is not daydreaming activity or material commodities per se, but rather the software itself. Here, the software not only presents things to be desired, but also absorbs some of the skill and competence needed to conjure up desire. Ultimately these configurations appear to create breaks in the experience of desire that weaken the hold previously binding consumers to objects of desire.

The relationship between ownership and possession: observations from the context of digital virtual goods

This theoretical article highlights limitations in the current trend towards dichotomising full ownership and access-based consumption by recognising a broader, more complex array of ‘fragmented’ ownership configurations in the context of digital virtual goods (DVGs). In challenging this dichotomy, we recognise that the relationship between ownership and possession becomes particularly significant. We therefore consider how prominent DVG ownership configurations may shape the way in which possession is assembled, potentially reducing consumers’ scope of action relative to DVGs and leaving possession susceptible to disruption. Conversely, we acknowledge ways in which consumers’ continued attempts at possession may impinge upon the agency of ownership mechanisms within the market. Our analysis ultimately builds upon existing understandings of both ownership and possession, theorising their often overlooked relation in consumption.

CMC Conference – Co-creating and Co-producing Research Outputs with Final Year Undergraduate Students

The conference:  Organised for and by Level H students from three undergraduate degrees and to be held in the Executive Business Centre (7th floor) Wednesday 15th of May 2012.

We will invite 2 keynote speakers, 6 academic and industry contacts and will host an end of conference dinner for all involved. The event will be widely diffused through FB, twitter and a dedicated youtube channel. 

Journal of Promotional Communications: CMC’s first in-house journal will be launched at the conference and will bring together the top 7 conference papers.

Our aim: To attract 40 students to sign up to this years conference! Get the local business community excited about the work our students are doing and a platform to engage with our students.

How it benefits us:  It gives us an opportunity to co-produce research outputs with our dissertation students.

How it benefits students: It is a great way of celebrating top student work and help students disseminate more widely.

How it benefits the university: Provides a highly visible manifestation and online product of the quality of work being produced by students at the end of their undergraduate university career. It clearly contributes to the university Fusion agenda by providing the mechanisms necessary for co-creation and co-production of research outputs to take place.

Wider community:Academics from other institutions, relevant industry contacts, local press, potentially family of students and local business leaders will be invited to this prestigious event and all will have access to the online journal.

Who should I contact: Janice Denegri-Knott the project leader on