Marla Royne Stafford

Professor, Lee Business School
Expertise: Integrated Marketing Communications, Services Marketing, Advertising and Sales Promotion, Marketing Management, Consumer Behavior, Sustainability and Environmental Communications in Marketing and Hospitality, Nonprofit Marketing, Healthcare Marketing, Emotional Appeals and Consumer Well-Being, Diversity and Inclusion Issues, Health Messaging


Marla Royne Stafford is a hospitality and advertising marketing expert who boasts more than 25 years of experience as a professor, department chair and dean in the business discipline. Prior to her time in academia, she spent time in industry in marketing, communications, and training development.

Stafford is a past-president of the American Academy of Advertising, past editor-in-chief of the Journal of Advertising, and past associate editor of the Journal of Consumer Affairs published by the American Council on Consumer Interests. More recently, she is serving as a guest editor of the Journal of Advertising's special section on Hospitality, Tourism and Travel. A two-time recipient of the University of Memphis Alumni Association Award for Distinguished Research in Business and Social Sciences, Stafford also received the Ivan Preston Award for Outstanding Contribution to Advertising Research in 2016. In 2018, she was recognized as one of the Superwomen in Business by the Memphis Business Journal.

Her research has been published in the American Journal of Public Health, Journal of Advertising, Journal of Advertising Research, Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, among other publications.


  • Ph.D., Marketing, Business University of Georgia
  • M.B.A., Marketing Concentration, Rollins College
  • B.A., Speech Communication, University of Arizona

Marla Royne Stafford In The News

September 23, 2021
Witty slogans on Las Vegas freeway signs might be good for some laughs, but the hope is they save some lives too, transportation officials said.
September 18, 2020
Advertisers should understand consumer views on the environmental impact of different media channels when they develop campaigns, according to a study published in the Journal of Advertising Research (JAR).
March 16, 2020
The hospitality industry has a serious pipeline issue: Less than 7% of U.S. restaurants are led or owned by women, even though 51% of students attending the Culinary Institute of America are female.

Articles Featuring Marla Royne Stafford

Marla Stafford seated in a row of chairs.
People | July 22, 2019
From the South to the Strip, her path in academia has been guided by her passion for research and her mission to change the lives of students.