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John Murphy

John Murphy

Joe C. Thompson Centennial Professor Emeritus & Distinguished University Teaching Professor Emeritus

Ph.D., The University of Texas at Austin (Marketing)

M.B.A., Texas Tech University (Marketing)

B.B.A., Texas Tech University (Marketing)


P: 512-471-1101

Fax: 512-471-7018

Dr. Murphy's professional experience is on the media side of the industry, where he has worked in many capacities including advertising sales, marketing research, and strategic planning. His research interests include integrated brand promotion campaigns planning and media management with an emphasis on practical applications. He has published three advertising management textbooks and a fourth book titled "Integrated Brand Promotion Management." His research articles have appeared in the Journal of Business, Journal of Business Research, Journal of Marketing, Journal of Advertising, Journal of Social Psychology, Journal of Experimental Education, Journal of Marketing Education, Journal of Consumer Affairs, and Journalism Quarterly, among others.

Dr. Murphy has served on the Board of Directors of the American Advertising Federation, the Board of Directors of both the American Advertising Foundation and the Austin Advertising Federation. He has served as a member of UT's Faculty Council, the University of Texas Press Advisory Committee, the Texas Union, and Texas Student Media. He presently serves on the corporate Board of Directors of BusinesSuites (an Austin-based company operating in the office suites rental industry with properties in seven states) and the Tapestry Foundation (an Austin-based non-profit focused on supporting early childhood enhancement programs).

Dr. Murphy is the Program Coordinator of the American Advertising Federation¹s Vance and Betty Lee Stickell Student Internship Program. Established in 1988 with Dr. Murphy's help, the program matches outstanding students from universities around the country with host companies for a 10-week internship. The program has placed 260 honors students over the past 27 years. In the summer of 2015, 19 students participated in the program.

Dr. Murphy has received 15 awards and recognitions for outstanding teaching. He was elected to UT’s Academy of Distinguished University Teachers in1998 and recognized with a $25,000 UT Systems Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award (ROTA) for excellence in undergraduate teaching in 2014.


Professional Interests

My professional experience, consulting and academic research interests center on integrated brand promotion planning and media management issues. This includes the operation of both on- and off-line media and advertising agencies plus the adaptation of both to changing opportunities.

Personal Background

Dr. Murphy¹s professional experience includes work at the Houston Chronicle (in ad sales and strategic planning) and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (in the marketing research department). He has a BBA (1968) and MBA (1969) in marketing from Texas Tech plus a PhD in marketing and social psychology from UT, Austin (1974). In addition, his hobbies include:

  • Tennis
  • Ping pong (full contact)
  • Bicycling
  • Gardening
  • Hiking and camping in the wilds
  • Travel


cottage covered in a blanket of snow


cottage in sunlight

In 2007, Dr. Murphy and his wife Sue purchased a second home in Belfast, Maine. The cottage was built in 1929 as a fishing camp and they are in the process of restoring it to its original condition. The house is on the water on the Maine coast on Penobscot Bay. View more photographs and learn more about the first five years of their ongoing restoration.

My Country versus City Grandparents


Although I never thought about it when it was happening in the 1950s, in the rearview mirror I now realize how fortunate I was to have had two widely divergent pairs of grandparents.  My parents were both born in 1913, but into quite different households.

My mother was born on a farm in the country in northeastern Oklahoma and my dad was born in a house in the city of Galveston, Texas. I grew up and went through public schools in Houston, but each summer we made a pilgrimage to stay with my country grandparents. During the summers of my late elementary and middle school years I would stay on after the rest of my family returned to Texas and work for my country grandfather for 35¢ an hour on his farm.

From my city grandparents, whom I was around frequently, I learned about crossword puzzles, reading a city street map and generally about how to do city stuff. What I learned from them really was about fitting appropriately into an environment about which I was already familiar.  This setup a contrast with what I learned from my country grandparents.

My country grandmother had a large garden in which she raised vegetables that we ate fresh-off-the-vine. She also taught me about feeding and caring for the animals that provided us with eggs, milk and meat. Most of this education happened because I asked, as a city boy fascinated by the back-story of where items came from that were found in the city in a supermarket. 

Working for my country grandfather, a character of the first order who was born in a sod house in the Oklahoma Indian Territory in 1890, I was able to observe and participate in the operation of a farm. Driving John Deere tractors grandpa called Johnny Poppers, loading hay into barns, hoeing weeds, looking for cattle in the dark after a long day working in the hay field, helping “pull a calf“ out of the womb with the aid of a horse and a rope. Now, 60 years later, much of this experience is vivid in my memory. As a 12- years-old, after I wrecked a hay rake by turning a tractor too tightly so that the rake caught on the big rear tire, grandpa shouted in frustration, “You can’t work a kid!” That hurt.'

It was an earlier, simpler time when I worked in the fields and barns along side of Albert, the primary hired hand (paid 75¢ an hour), his three oldest children and Charles Wolf a full-blooded Cherokee Indian. Albert and his wife Sylvia, who had nine children, went to beer joints every Saturday night and drank heavily. Many years later I realized why two of their children were mentally slow, spoke with thick tongues and had crossed eyes -- fetal alcohol syndrome. Albert rolled his own cigarettes, deftly tapping loose tobacco from a tall, thin red metal tin into cigarette papers. He developed an open sore on his nose that turned out to be cancerous, and he died an early death from the disease.

I learned that to run a farm you had to be your own mechanic and vet and that success depended on the weather and that necessity was indeed the mother of invention. Practical problem-solving to get tasks done was the order of every day.

Looking back, I realize that I was able to experience small town America in the 1950s. There were many cousins, aunts and uncles, and everybody knew about everybody else’s business. A town of 500, with a downtown that was one block long with everything right there: a post office, a coin laundry, grocery and hardware stores.

I was fortunate to have two sets of grandparents. Especially the country grandparents, who taught me about the operation of a farm that was more 19th century than 20th and who exposed me to a simpler way of life that was a slice of America that is gone forever. I now realize that lessons gleaned from my country grandparents influenced my own attitudes and approach to life in profound ways.

{This story was submitted to the New York Times Sunday Magazine for possible publication. Seems unlikely, but hey, I enjoyed writing it and you need to be out there. jhm}

How to Reach Me

Stan Richards School of Advertising & Public Relations
Belo Center for New Media 4.320
300 Dean Keeton A1200
The University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX 78712
P: 512-471-1101
Fax: 512-471-7018