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ACE3201 : Marketing and Public Policy

  • Offered for Year: 2021/22
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Diogo Monjardino De Souza Monteiro
  • Lecturer: Professor Lynn Frewer
  • Other Staff: Dr Luca Panzone
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


Public policy is a field of politics and governance aiming to understand how to rule. It has been defined as “a strategic action led by a public authority in order to limit or increase the presence of certain phenomena within the population” (National Collaborating Centre for Healthy Public Policy (NCCHPP), 2012). There are several views on what is and is not public policy. It is beyond the scope of this module to debate on what is policy. Rather, after a brief discussion of what is public policy, this module will focus on the opportunities and limitations of using the marketing framework as a policy instrument. In other words, we aim to introduce marketing as way to define strategies to achieve policy outcomes. For example, smoke cessation could be viewed as meriting public policy interventions. Note however, that marketing is mainly a business tool to encourage consumers to purchase products or services they need. So, marketing can be also an object of policy, for example by restricting opening hours of supermarkets to support small shops or forbidding promoting alcohol consumption to children. How can we define a policy based on the marketing framework to address smoke cessation? We could conceive a strategy that would include Pricing (through taxation); Distribution (restricting places where tobacco is sold); Product (limiting the amount of nicotine allowed or banning sales to under 20 year olds); Communications (public information campaigns, social media, campaigns, advertising restrictions) etc. Typically the desired outcome of a strategic action or mechanism is a change in the behaviour of consumers and/or businesses.
In general, sound policy making requires an evidence base approach upon which policies are founded, prioritised and evaluated. Marketing can contribute evidence in all these areas, including the identification of 'unintended consequences'. Marketing therefore has much to contribute to contemporary issues of public interest. However, marketing practices are also criticised for contributing to over-consumption and unethical practices.
Clearly public policy is a complex issue and can be examined (and taught) from different angles and perspectives. The aim of this class is to raise your awareness of how public policy is formulated and implemented as well as what is the role of marketing in public policy. In this class you will be taught by case study or policy issue. So, the instructors will proposed a policy topic (typically one they have or are researching), suggest readings and encourage you learn by doing. So, we will discuss different policy instruments and examine some concrete examples of public policies and discuss their implications for stakeholders.
The module will be issue based and research-led, by drawing upon both contemporary marketing-related public policy issues and research undertaken by the Social Sciences Group in the School of Natural and Environmental Scientists, where much research is food industry based.

Outline Of Syllabus

Here is a list of topics that will be covered in this class. Note that these may change from year to year:
• Introduction: marketing and public policy
• Social Marketing and corporate responsibility
• Public policies: the Government perspective.
* Policy evaluation methods
• Sustainable consumption
• Obesity and nutrition labelling
• Privacy and transparency
• Authenticity and Fraud
• Waste and recycling
• Debate on current public policy topic
• Transport and road safety

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture111:0011:00To introduce the module materials
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion15:005:00MCQ preparation and completion
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion120:0020:00Group coursework (50%)
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading121:0012:00This will be group discussions of module topics.
Structured Guided LearningStructured non-synchronous discussion60:303:00A combination of short recordings of lecture material and text published on VLE each week
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery11:001:00PiP - Surgery to get help on policy vlog, I am assuming 12-13 students per class
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study83:0024:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyOnline Discussion81:008:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDistance Learning Advance Preparation82:0016:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Formal lectures and in-class discussion will assist the students in achieving the stated learning outcomes. There will be opportunities for students to pose questions, debate, and critically discuss issues during class sessions. A variety of materials will be posted on the University Virtual Learning System, including most key readings and supplementary sources.

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report1M100Individual Report
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Computer assessment1MMCQ to prepare for summative MCQ and consolidate concepts
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

In this module students will need to integrate public policy and marketing and understand what is a policy issue and how it can be tackled. They need to be able to use social marketing (a sub-discipline of marketing) as a framework and tool to develop public policy solutions. Students also need to be able to collect and evaluate evidence and be critical about the limits of using marketing principles to tackle social issues. Therefore, it is justified to rely on coursework to assess this module, but have a formative piece of assessment to help students prepare for their main assessment. Thus it is proposed that the students have a peer-assessed formative piece of assessment followed by a report which will count 70% of the marks of the module.

The students will complete one formative and one summative MCQ in weeks 6 and 8 of the semester which will test their knowledge on the theoretical components of the topics. Then they will complete a group report where they will apply these concepts through a industry report.

Reading Lists