Marketing and Consumption

The Marketing and Consumption Group explores consumption, consumers, markets, and marketing.

The group focuses on rigorous social science research drawing on a range of disciplinary and theoretical perspectives including Psychology, Digital Marketing, Human-Computer Interaction, Tourism and Hospitality Services, Retailing, Consumer Culture Theory, Sociology, Science and Technology Studies, Social Marketing, and Marketing Management. Respect for pluralism, openness and integrity drive our research and teaching practice.


The group’s research projects are ‘real-world’ problem-oriented and conceptualised to address timely and important societal and marketing issues. Our vision is to build on, and expand, our distinctive expertise by furthering thought leadership in our two key themes:

Marketing and consumption research for societal change

  • Research in this stream focuses on fostering behavioural, social, business and policy change.  It engages with a wide range of policy, public, industry and community stakeholders to understand and address important social problems.
  • Areas of substantive focus include consumer physical and mental wellbeing, dietary change, plastics, fast fashion harms, food poverty, food waste, gambling harms, advertising ethics and policy, credit and debt, health and gender inequalities.
  • Existing partners for projects, research and student employment include a wide range of public, charitable, and private stakeholder groups. Examples include Bristol City Council, British Cycling, PLN, YGAM, Worthing Football Club, Sport England, Forestry England, Unilever, among others.

Digital transformations and innovations in marketing and consumption

  • Research in this stream focuses on marketing and consumption transformations that are associated with digital technologies and innovation.
  • Areas of substantive focus include: digital technologies (artificial intelligence, immersive technologies such as AR/VR/metaverse, social media, smart devices, Internet of Things) and their deployment for marketing and consumption purposes in retailing, tourism and hospitality, home and other settings; digital wellbeing (online harm, body image, mental health); marketisation of technologies; word-of-mouth; technology acceptance, and science entrepreneurship.
  • Researchers in this stream collaborate with UK-based and international partners such as studio Holition, agency QReal, BT, Conception X. 

Our extensive research, engagement, impact and thought leadership activity in these themes is demonstrated by our significant international connections and by our outstanding grant capture track record from a range of funders, including British Academy, Sport England, ESRC, ESRC IAA, EPSRC, NERC, BBSRC, Research Council of Norway, Gamble Aware, NIHR, Action Against Gambling Harms, and Addiction Recovery Agency. Senior colleagues in the Group lead the Bristol Digital Futures Institute (BDFI), Bristol Hub for Gambling Harms Research, and the ESRC Centre for Sociodigital Futures (CenSof).

Our work in these areas directly contributes to University of Bristol’s research strategy related to strengthening social justice, embedding sustainability, investigating, and leveraging the impacts of digital technologies, improving physical and mental health, and building social and economic resilience.


Our pedagogical approach is multi-disciplinary and research intensive, drawing from the Group’s expertise in consumption research for societal change and digital transformations and innovations in marketing. We seek to nurture independent critical thinkers equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to become confident and responsible marketing practitioners; practitioners who can earn their place in organisations of the future, and who are capable of developing critical and constructive solutions to business and global societal challenges. Our academic programmes incorporate innovative teaching methods and include live case studies with industry partners and non-profit organisations.

Contact us

Organisations or individuals interested in working with this academic group, please contact:

Dr Fiona Spotswood

Associate Professor in Marketing and Consumption, University of Bristol Business School

A football match taking place in a huge stadium with the stands full of spectators Gambling and the Premier League

New Season, More Self-regulation, More Marketing: The Prevalence of Gambling Adverts during the Opening Weekend of the English Premier League 2023/2024. Read the full report ‌‌Gambling adverts and the Premier League (PDF, 2,591kB)

The technical appendix is available here: Gambling - technical appendix (PDF, 1,250kB)

Courses and programmes

The following courses and programmes are within the remit of this academic group:

Edit this page