The academician-practitioner gap in advertising

Gergely Nyilasy
Hall and Partners, New York

Leonard N. Reid
Grady College, University of Georgia


Advertising academicians and advertising practitioners seem to live in different worlds. The separation between these two groups, commonly referred to as the academician–practitioner gap (Hunt 2002a), would not be too alarming if it only denoted the fact that there are always discrepancies between theoretical modelling in the field and practical applications. The gap in the case of advertising, however, is much wider and is manifested on deeper levels than would be expected in the case of occupations such as medicine, engineering or law.

The importance of the subject is reflected in a recent action of the American Academy of Advertising. At the 2006 AAA Conference, a special topic session focused specifically on the problem of the academician–practitioner gap; the central mission of the session was to find ways 'to create more connections between advertising practitioners and those in academia' (Katz 2007, p. 1). The outcome was the creation of an AAA Newsletter series on applied research summaries to build and strengthen the relationship between the academic producers and the applied users of advertising knowledge. This paper offers another means of continuing the dialogue and promotes the discussion of the 'gap' problem between the academic and professional communities of advertising.