November 2022

Maral Abdollahi’s dissertation project receives the Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship

Maral Abdollahi was awarded the Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship for her dissertation project "Human Users’ Responses to Virtual Social Media Influencers and Strategic and Ethical Implications for Communication." Virtual influencers, which are defined as digital, anthropomorphic social media personae that are controlled by humans or AI software, are a relatively new phenomenon and raise several questions regarding their effects as brand endorsers as well as ethical concerns for social media users. In her dissertation, Maral aims to examine social media users’ skepticism and attitudes toward virtual influencers as compared to human influencers, their interactions with and reactions to virtual influencers' and human influencers' advertising messages, and the role of skepticism in mediating the effects of influencer type on advertising outcomes. She uses an interdisciplinary multi-method approach, including a content analysis of social media comments and posts, a computational analysis of said data, and an online experiment, to examine the effectiveness of virtual influencers as brand endorsers as compared to human influencers. 

August 2021

Dr. Huh and the MCAL Team join multi-year industrywide consortium Once & For All Coalition to Build More Equitable Advertising Ecosystem.

Publicis Media launched a multi-year, industrywide initiative to remove industry barriers to equitable financial opportunity and representation of underserved and ethnically-diverse suppliers, ultimately helping marketers uncover opportunities that more closely mirror their brand values and drive growth with audiences in a multicultural world.

Through a cross-industry consortium called the Once & For All Coalition, purpose-driven brands; collaborative, diverse and general market suppliers; and multi-practice agency executives will join forces to focus on creating solutions in three core areas:

  • Establishing Equitable Investment with Minority Owned and Targeted Media Supply
  • Development of Minority Creators, Content and Media
  • Advancing Sustainable Infrastructure Requirements and Best Practices

Dr. Jisu Huh is participating in this initiative as a category expert and the MCAL team will conduct research projects focusing on the minority-owned and minority-targeted media supply and inequity issues to contribute to this initiative.


Read the full press release:

June 2021

Hao Xu’s dissertation project receives the 2021 Page Center Research Grants on Corporate Social Advocacy

Hao Xu, a PhD candidate in the Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and his co-advisors Dr. Jisu Huh and Dr. Hyejoon Rim received The Arthur W. Page Center’s  Page/Johnson Legacy Scholar Grant on Corporate Social Advocacy. This project “Companies Getting Political: Public-Company Identity Similarity and Its Influences on Public Reactions to Corporate Social Advocacy Initiatives” propose a novel computational research approach to assess CSA outcomes among members of publics with different ideologies in a natural real-world setting. This project aims to advance methodological innovations in CSA research and enhance theory development on the impact of CSA initiatives.

Page Center

Read more about this project:

Journal of Advertising Volume 49 Issue 4, Special Section on "Advances in Computational Advertising"

JA Special Issue Cover Image








Computational Advertising Research Thought Leadership Forum (TLF)

In conjunction with the Journal of Advertising

Participants and hosts of Computational Advertising Research TLF


Dr. Jisu Huh giving opening speech at the TLF

To examine important and timely issues in data-driven advertising and to advance the emerging field of computational advertising research, the Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Minnesota hosted the Computational Advertising Research Thought Leadership Forum (TLF) on October 18-20, 2019 in Minneapolis, MN.

With the goal of setting new research agenda, innovating methodological approaches, and expanding the application of the computational research approach to advertising practice and scholarship, this TLF brought together prominent senior scholars, industry thought leaders, and active junior scholars across the advertising, communication, marketing, computer science, law, and information and decision science fields.

Twenty-five participants engaged in an intensive 2-day paper hackathon examining the broad landscape of computational advertising and surrounding macro issues, ad content-related issues, ad-delivery and media issues, and advertising effects and outcome assessment issues. Research papers developed from this TLF, based on the collaboration among scholars from varying methodological and disciplinary perspectives and different expertise, will be published in the Journal of Advertising Special Section, co-edited by Jisu Huh (University of Minnesota) and Ed Malthouse (Northwestern University).