Carrie La Ferle


Professor of Ethics & Culture in Advertising




Dr. Carrie La Ferle is a professor of ethics and culture at the Temerlin Advertising Institute at SMU. La Ferle holds a Ph.D. in advertising from The University of Texas at Austin, an M.A. in advertising from Michigan State University and a B.A. in sociology from the University of Western Ontario. Raised in Toronto, Carrie worked for Chiat/Day on the Nissan account before working in Tokyo for four years. Formally trained as a sociologist, she brings a broad understanding of culture and interpersonal communication to effective messaging. She is further certified as a Cultural Intelligence & Unconscious Bias Trainer and Educator.

With over 60 publications, La Ferle’s research examines how culture (national, racial/ethnic, religious, etc.) impacts effective communication and the importance of ethics and social responsibility in advertising. Her work is widely published in prestigious journals such as the Journal of AdvertisingJournal of Advertising ResearchInternational Journal of Advertising and Journal of Business Research. She has been a Visiting Fellow at Nanyang Technological Institute in Singapore, on industry research leave in Costa Rica, and has enjoyed several summers teaching graduate-level international advertising in Hong Kong.

Beyond teaching cultural intelligence and social responsibility in advertising, La Ferle’s recent publications include an examination of how guilt and shame messaging in an Eastern context impacts bystander intervention. She has also been examining the impact of culture on sustainability, generational issues, and how religious symbols in the US, India, and Israel can enhance message effectiveness. Her latest research is exploring CQ in Advertising to enhance an organization’s DEI&B initiatives. 

La Ferle works to positively influence society by sharing the importance of building trust and authentic long-term relationships between brands, their consumers and society through cultural understanding and ethical behavior. She further thrives on developing cultural intelligence within education, faith-based organizations and any agency looking to understand how cultural knowledge can positively impact effective communication and interpersonal relationships.

La Ferle has received multiple awards for her teaching, research, and service to the field. At SMU she is the recipient of the President’s Associates Outstanding Faculty Award (2009), the Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor Award (2012), the Golden Apple (2018) from Meadows School of the Arts and TAI’s Research Scholar of the Year award (2019)In 2018La Ferle was chosen as an AAF Shining Star in recognition of women who have positively impacted the Dallas advertising industry. In 2021, she co-authored Preaching and the Thirty-Second Commercial: Lessons from Advertising for the Pulpit and was honored with the AAA’s prestigious Rotzoll Career Award for Advertising Ethics & Social Responsibility.

As an active member of the American Academy of Advertising for 25 years, La Ferle has held numerous positions from newsletter editor and secretary to vice president. She currently serves on the editorial review board of the Journal of Advertising. She is also a member of the Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility, and a voice on the ANA’s Global CMO Growth Council supporting the need for cultural intelligence and ethical representation in marketing for industry growth. La Ferle lives in Dallas, TX with her husband of 25 years and they have two teenage children.


Ph.D. Advertising, University of Texas at Austin
M.A. Advertising, Michigan State University
B.A. Sociology, University of Western Ontario

Course list

Advertising, Society, & Ethics ADV 2302
Advertising as a Cultural Force ADV 6371
International Advertising ADV 6374
Carrie La Ferle