Prof Andrew McStay
Professor in Digital Media
Name: Andrew McStay
Position: Professor of Digital Life
Phone: +44 (0)1248 382740
Location: John Philips Hall Annex
McStay, A. (2009) Digital Advertising. London: Palgrave-Macmillan.
I am Director of the Network for the Study of Media and Persuasive Communication at Bangor University where I also lecture on media, privacy and digital culture. I advise widely on trends in digital technology, ethical implementation and policy. My most recent books are Emotional AI: The Rise of Empathic Media (Sage, 2018), Privacy and the Media (Sage, 2017) and Digital Advertising 2nd ed (Palgrave-MacMillan, 2016). I am also author of Privacy and Philosophy (Peter Lang, 2014); Creativity and Advertising (Routledge, 2013) and The Mood of Information (Continuum, 2011). My most recent work continues to focus on AI, emotional life and media. See my website emotionalAI.org for more.
Research interest keywords
Advertising, creativity, digital media, emotional analytics, persuasion, philosophy, politics and privacy.
- Director of the Media and Persuasive Communication (MPC) network
- Director of Impact and Engagement
- Deputy Head of School
- University interdisciplinary research leader (along with Professor Jerry Hunter (School of Welsh and Dr. John Parkinson (School of Psychology/Wales Centre for Behaviour Change)
- Member of the University-wide Research Communication Strategy Group
- Member of the Pontio Innovation Strategy Group
Privacy and the Media (Year 2)
Digital Advertising (Year 2)
Media Culture (Year 1)
- Dyfrig Jones, Convergence and Public Service Broadcasting in the UK, Ireland, and North America (1st supervisor)
- Dita Legowo, Blurring Intimacy and Distance: An Online Webseries (1st supervisor)
- Aliah Nur Mansor, Marketing and Online Fan Communities (2nd supervisor)
- Emotional AIMcStay, A 2018, Emotional AI: The Rise of Empathic Media. SAGE Publications Ltd.
- The Sorry Tale of British Journalism and our Right to PrivacyBakir, V & McStay, A The Sorry Tale of British Journalism and our Right to Privacy.
- The Significance of AdTechMcStay, A 2018, The Significance of AdTech: Programmatic Platforms, Identity and Moments. in J Hardy, H Powell & I Macrury (eds), The Advertising Handbook. 4th edn, Routledge, pp. 88-101.
- Fake News and the Economy of EmotionsBakir, V & McStay, A 2018, 'Fake News and the Economy of Emotions: Problems, Causes, Solutions' Digital Journalism, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 154-175. DOI: 10.1080/21670811.2017.1345645
- An ethical intervention into Conscious CitiesMcStay, A 2017, 'An ethical intervention into Conscious Cities' Conscious Cities Journal, no. 3.
- ‘Was it ‘AI wot won it’? Hyper-targeting and profiling emotions online’:Bakir, V & McStay, A 2017, ‘Was it ‘AI wot won it’? Hyper-targeting and profiling emotions online’: Political Studies Association.
- Combatting fake newsBakir, V & McStay, A Combatting fake news: analysis of submissions to the fake news inquiry.
- Micro-Moments, Liquidity, Intimacy and Automation: Developments in Programmatic Ad-techMcStay, A 2017, Micro-Moments, Liquidity, Intimacy and Automation: Developments in Programmatic Ad-tech. in G Siegert, MB Rimscha & S Grubenmann (eds), Commercial communication in the digital age – information or disinformation? . Age of Access? Grundfragen der Informationsgesellschaft, Mouton de Gruyter, pp. 143-159.
- Privacy and the MediaMcStay, A 2017, Privacy and the Media. 1 edn, SAGE Publications Ltd, London.
- Introduction to Special Theme Veillance and transparencyBakir, V, Feilzer, M & McStay, A 2017, 'Introduction to Special Theme Veillance and transparency: A critical examination of mutual watching in the post-Snowden, Big Data era' Big Data and Society, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 1-5. DOI: 10.1177/2053951717698996
- Empathic media and advertisingMcStay, A 2016, 'Empathic media and advertising: Industry, policy, legal and citizen perspectives (the case for intimacy)' Big Data and Society, vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 1-11. DOI: 10.1177/2053951716666868
- The Mood of Information in an Age of Empathic MediaMcStay, A 2016, The Mood of Information in an Age of Empathic Media. in J Hamilton, R Bodle & E Korin (eds), Explorations in Critical Studies of Advertising. Routledge Research in Cultural and Media Studies, Routledge, New York, pp. 235.
- Digital Advertising (Second Edition)McStay, A 2016, Digital Advertising (Second Edition). 2nd, revised edn, Palgrave.
- Assessing interdisciplinary academic and mult-istakeholder positions on transparency in the post-Snowden leak eraBakir, V & McStay, A 2015, 'Assessing interdisciplinary academic and mult-istakeholder positions on transparency in the post-Snowden leak era' Ethical Space: The International Journal of Communication Ethics, vol. 12, no. 3/4, pp. 25-38.
- Empathic media and Cultural Mediations of TransparencyMcStay, A 2015, 'Empathic media and Cultural Mediations of Transparency' Paper presented at Visible Mediations of Transparency: Changing Norms & Practices, DATA-PSST! Seminar, King's College London, September 2015, 3/01/01, .
- Forced Transparency or Equivellant Transparency, post-Snowden (or who is challenging the state’s surveillance agenda of radical transparency?)Bakir, V & McStay, A 2015, 'Forced Transparency or Equivellant Transparency, post-Snowden (or who is challenging the state’s surveillance agenda of radical transparency?)' Paper presented at Media Agenda-Building, National Security, Trust & Forced Transparency, DATAPSST Seminar, Brunel University, July 2015, 3/01/01, .
- Conceiving Empathic Media and Outlining Stakeholder Interests (With Some Surprising Results).McStay, A 2015, 'Conceiving Empathic Media and Outlining Stakeholder Interests (With Some Surprising Results).' Paper presented at Data Power Conference, University of Sheffield, 23-23 June 2015, 3/01/01, .
- Debating and Assessing Transparency Arrangements: Privacy, Security, Surveillance, Trust: Evaluating Perspectives on Surveillance in the Post-Snowden Leak EraBakir, V & McStay, A 2015, 'Debating and Assessing Transparency Arrangements: Privacy, Security, Surveillance, Trust: Evaluating Perspectives on Surveillance in the Post-Snowden Leak Era' Paper presented at Digital Citizenship and Surveillance Society UK State-Media-Citizen Relations after the Snowden Leaks, Cardiff University, June 2015, 3/01/01, .
- Privacy as Affective ProtocolMcStay, A 2015, 'Privacy as Affective Protocol' Paper presented at Debating the Technical & Ethical Limits of Secrecy and Privacy, DATAPSST Seminar, University of Sheffield, March 2015, 3/01/01, .
- What of consent in an age of empathic media?McStay, A 2015, 'What of consent in an age of empathic media?' Paper presented at The Meaningful Consent in the Digital Economy project (MCDE), Second workshop, University of Southampton, February 2015, 3/01/01, .
- A Typology of Transpararency TodayMcStay, A 2015, 'A Typology of Transpararency Today' Paper presented at DATA-PSST! Debating and Assessing Transparency Arrangements - Privacy, Security, Sur/Sous/Veillance, Trust, Bangor University, January 2015, 3/01/01, .
- Assessing interdisciplinary academic and multi-stakeholder positions on transparency in the post-Snowden leak eraBakir, V & McStay, A 2015, 'Assessing interdisciplinary academic and multi-stakeholder positions on transparency in the post-Snowden leak era' Ethical Space: The International Journal of Communication Ethics, vol. 12, no. 3/4, pp. 25-38.
- Privacy and Philosophy: New Media and Affective ProtocolMcStay, A 2014, Privacy and Philosophy: New Media and Affective Protocol. Unknown Publisher.
- PSST! Privacy, Security, Surveillance and Trust: developing an inter-disciplinary response to forced transparencyBakir, V, McStay, A & Feilzer, MY 2013, 'PSST! Privacy, Security, Surveillance and Trust: developing an inter-disciplinary response to forced transparency' Paper presented at Media & Persuasive Communication inter-disciplinary seminar, Bangor University, November 2013, 3/01/01, .
- Creativity and Advertising: Affect, Events and ProcessMcStay, A 2013, Creativity and Advertising: Affect, Events and Process. Routledge.
- I consent: An analysis of the Cookie Directive and its implications for UK behavioral advertisingMcStay, A 2012, 'I consent: An analysis of the Cookie Directive and its implications for UK behavioral advertising' New media and society. DOI: 10.1177/1461444812458434
- Media StudiesLong, P, Wall, T, Bakir, V & McStay, A 2012, Media Studies. Pearson Education.
- Profiling Phorm: an autopoietic approach to the audience-as-commodity.McStay, A 2011, 'Profiling Phorm: an autopoietic approach to the audience-as-commodity.' Surveillance and Society, vol. 8, no. 3, pp. 310-322.
- The Mood of Information: a critique of online behavioural advertisingMcStay, A 2011, The Mood of Information: a critique of online behavioural advertising. Continuum.
- A qualitative approach to understanding audience's perceptions of creativity in online advertising.McStay, A 2010, 'A qualitative approach to understanding audience's perceptions of creativity in online advertising.' Qualitative Report, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 37-58.
- Digital AdvertisingMcStay, A 2009, Digital Advertising. Palgrave.
- Regulating Digital Campaigning: What is to be Done?
Invited to a conference on Regulating Digital Campaigning: What is to be Done? in Portcullis House, Lodnon. The conference programme has been devised in collaboration with the Cabinet Office, Electoral Commission, and Information Commissioner’s Office, and the conference is hosted by the DCMS Select Committee.
29 Nov 2018
Activity: Types of Public engagement and outreach - Public lecture/debate/seminar (Participant)
- United International College Beijing Normal University-Hong Kong Baptist University
16 Nov 2018
Activity: Types of External academic engagement - Membership of peer review panel or committee (Reviewer)
- Opinion Forming in the Digital Age: Fake News, Echo Chambers and Populism - Key Themes, Concerns & Recommendations for European Research and Innovation
Invited to co-produce a white paper to shape the European Commission’s (EC) research agenda on the Internet's Impact on Echo Chambers, Fake News and Populism. This will assist the EC to define a future work programme of research within the H2020 framework and FP9. hTrough regular consultation across 2018, this generated a report on sociotechnical implications of the Internet related to the impact of closed communities and misinformation and makes recommendations to address specific challenges.
Edited by Steve Taylor, Brian Pickering, Paul Grace, Michael Boniface -University of Southampton IT Innovation Centre, UK
1 Feb 2018 – 25 Oct 2018
Activity: Consultancy (Consultant)
- Fake News & Digital Advertising
Invited Speaker: House of Commons, London. Fake News & Digital Advertising. Branded Content Network (AHRC-funded). (Public Talk – approx. 30 people)
We presented on the fake news phenomenon as part of an invited panel.
It received media coverage from trade press.
25 Apr 2017
Activity: Invited talk (Speaker)
- Written MPC submissions to UK Fake News Parliamentary Inquiry and wider public discourse
3 x 3000 words reports - Bakir and McStay (MPC), and Bakir et al
1 report for MECCSA
1 blog for PSA Political Insight
2 talks to COmmsCymru
1 Apr 2017 – 29 Nov 2017
Links: Oct 2017 submission - overview of all solutions so far presented to Inquiry
Apr 2017 Bakir and McStay 3000 word submission on Media Economics and Emotional button pushing
Apr 2017 Bakir et al 3000 word submission on A Framework for Detecting and Avoiding Propaganda
blog post to Political Insight on fake news drivers
Contribution to meccsa 3d fake news - Bakir and McStay (3000 (words)
Talk to CommsCymru on fake news - biannual conference on Trust (Oct and Nov 2017)
Activity: Consultancy (Consultant)
Gillian Jein hosted the round table discussion which launched the interactive, generative exhibition, Veillance. The roundtable included project team members. Artist Ronan Devlin, Academics Prof. Vian Bakir and Prof. Andy McStay, Technician Carwyn Edwards.
24 Feb 2017
Activity: Oral presentation (Speaker)
Generative Exhibition - White Box, Pontio
24 Feb 2017 – 12 Mar 2017
Links: Veillance on Vimeo
Activity: Types of Public engagement and outreach - Festival/Exhibition (Member)
- Membership of AHRC peer review college
Membership of AHRC peer review college
18 Nov 2016
Activity: Types of External academic engagement - Membership of peer review panel or committee (Member)
- Empathic Media: Theory-Building & K Exchange with Industry Regulators & NGOs
Consultancy: Inter-governmental, Government and Industry
- 2019 CognitionX expert advisor
- 2018 Report on The Right To Privacy In The Age Of Emotional AI (for The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights)
- 2018 Invited participant: United Nations expert workshop on right to privacy in the digital age.
- 2018 Invited witness at UK Parliament, DCMS Committee's oral evidence session on Fake News.
- 2018 Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers Working Group voting member (P7000 on ethical design and P70002 on data privacy).
- 2018 Expert input on Re-Work AI white paper on Ethical Implications of AI.
- 2017 Report on Written Submissions On How To Combat Fake News (UK Parliament fake news inquiry).
- 2017 Report: And then there’s Emotional AI (For House of Lords Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence.
- 2017 Report: Fake News: Media Economics & Emotional Button-Pushing (UK Parliament fake news inquiry).
- 2017 House of Parliament presentation on development of fake news and branded content.
- 2016 Open Rights Group, academic advisor on data protection.
- 2016-2018 Advisory Board Member for Sensing Feeling (a retail consortia project exploring Emotional AI).
- 2015 UK Government, Office for Science, ‘Understanding Influence’ workshop/1000 word report.
- 2015 Information Commissioner’s Office, advisor and member of the Policy Delivery department.
- 2015 Committee of Advertising Practice, advisor on ethics of emotion-sensitive technology.
- 2015 Internet Advertising Bureau (Europe), advisor on ethics in digital advertising.
- 2015 By invitation, Expert Discussion on Adblocking, European Parliament, Brussels.
- 2014-2015 Drive Productions (developing wearable technology for experiential marketing events).
- 2014-2016 Voting Kantara Working Group member on developing digital consent receipts.
- 2018: co-production of white paper to shape European Commission’s (EC) research agenda on the internet's impact on echo chambers, fake news and populism (H2020 framework and FP9).
- 2017-current: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) reviewer
- 2016-current: Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Peer College member
- 2017-current: External Examiner, Goldsmiths (Univ. of London), MA Advertising & Promotional Culture
- 2016-2017: MSA (Egypt)/Univ. of Bedfordshire, BA Mass Comms, Advertising & PR
- 2014-current: External Examiner: Falmouth University, BA Creative Advertising
- 2012-2015: External Examiner: Middlesex Univ., MSc Media Management
- 2013-current: International Assessor: Research Foundation Flanders.
New Media & Society (Editorial board), Big Data & Society (Guest Editor for special issue on Veillance & Transparency 2017). I regularly review for Surveillance & Society, Theory, Culture & Society, Digital Journalism, International Journal of Communication, Journal of Cultural Economy, Telematics and Informatics, Social Science Computer Review, Association of Internet Researchers, International Association for Media and Communication Research, Emerald, Continuum, Routledge, Sage and Palgrave MacMillan.
Emotional AI, ethics and workplace automation (2019/forthcoming) CIPD: Festival of Work, Haymarket Media, London.
Challenges of the (post)digital age (izazovi (post)digitalnog doba) (2019/forthcoming), Belgrade, Serbia.
Spilling into the city: AI and advertising (2019/forthcoming) Goldsmiths, University of London.
Emotiveillance: Smart Advertising, Retail and the Privacy Problem (2019) Liverpool Screen School, LMJU, UK.
Intimacy in the Age of Artificial Intelligence (2018) Grounded Festival, Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Emotional AI: Nature, Form, Ethics,Governance (2018) Pratt Institute, New York.
AI and Creative Practice (2018) Bond University, Queensland, Australia.
Intimacy and the Civic Body: Emotional AI and the City (2018) Information Law and Policy Centre, London.
All Smiles? Emotional AI, Ethics, Industry Views & Citizen Perspectives (2018), Re-Work summit on Machine Learning, AI & Digital Assistants, San Francisco, USA.
Understanding the Significance of Emotional AI and Empathic Media (2018), New Lines of (In)Sight, CRISP, University of Stirling.
Emotional AI: Ethics, Citizens and Ubiquitous Feeling-Into (2017), Re-Work global summiton AI & Digital Assistants, London, UK.
Fake News & Digital Advertising(2017), House of Commons, UK Parliament, London.
Some Context to Branded Content & Advertising (2017). Theorising Branded Content, Univ. of East London.
Empathic Media: The Case of Advertising (2017), CPDP, Brussels.
Some Context to Branded Content and Advertising (2017), keynote, Theorising Branded Content, University of East London.
Empathic Media and Advertising (2016), keynote, The Future of Advertising, University of the Arts, LCC.
Researching Empathic Media: Corporate Access, Methods and Ethics (2016), University of Sheffield.
Empathic Media: In the Workplace (2016), Society for Computers and Law, 11KBW.
McStay, A. (2016) Empathic Media: The Case of Gaming, Stanford University.
McStay, A. and Bakir, V. (2016) Veillant Media: ‘Veillant Panoptic Assemblage’ and ‘Emotiveillance, University of Toronto.
McStay, A. (2016) Empathic Media project Intimacy, consent and tracking emotions in public, Digital Catapult, London UK.
Bakir, V. & McStay (2015). Forced Transparency or Equivellant Transparency, post-Snowden (or who is challenging the state’s surveillance agenda of radical transparency? Media, Agenda Building, National Security and Forced Transparency. For DATA-PSST! ESRC Seminar series. Brunel University, 8 July 2015.
Bakir, V. & A.McStay. (2015). Invited speakers: Debating and Assessing Transparency Arrangements: Privacy, Security, Surveillance, Trust (DATA-PSST!): evaluating perspectives on surveillance in the post-Snowden leak era. Surveillance and Citizenship State-Media-Citizen Relations After the Snowden Leaks. Cardiff University, UK. ESRC-sponsored. 18-19 June 2015.
What of Consent in an Age of Empathic Media (2015) Meaningful Consent workshop, University of Southampton.
Privacy as Affective Protocol (2015) DATAPSST!, University of Sheffield.
Towards an Understanding of Emotional Analytics (2014) Marketing Communications Society, University of Greenwich, London
Exploring the Pharmacology of Empathic Media (2014) Centre for the Study of Science and Imagination, University of Westminster, London.
Sensational creativity in advertising (2014) Media and Culture Research Seminars, Institute of Art and Design, Birmingham City University.
Redefining the Object of Critique: Creative Advertising as an Event (2013) International Communication Association (ICA), London,
Rethinking Advertising: From Being to Becoming (2012) For Your Eyes Only: Privacy, Empowerment and Technology in the Context of Social Networks, Brussels, Belguim.
I Consent: Search, Privacy, Behavioural Advertising and the Cookie Directive (2012) Leuven Arenberg Doctoral School Training Programme, University of Leuven, Belgium.
Exploring the Cultural Contours of Digital Advertising (2010) The Media Studies Conference, British Film Institute (BFI), London.
Towards an autopoietic conception of behavioural advertising audiences (2010) Media, Culture and Journalism Research Seminars, University of Glamorgan.
Exploring Audiences in Web 2.0 (2008) Media Research: New Issues, Perspectives and Methods, Institute of Art and Design, Birmingham City University.
2018 ESRC-AHRC UK-Japan SSH Connections 'Emotional AI: Comparative Considerations for UK and Japan across Commercial, Political and Security Sectors' (PI £50,000)
2018 ESRC IAA Knowledge Exchange Fellowship ‘Emotional AI: Developing Ethics, Standards and Governance’ (PI £10,769.75)
2016: Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) ‘Branded Content Research Network’ Award (Project mentor and advisory group member, £45,000, PI Jonathan Hardy at University of East London)
2016: The Space (Veillance), £50,000 from The Space + £25,000 Arts Council Wales (CI for Ronan Devlin, Pontio designer in residence, Bangor University).
2015: Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), 'Empathic Media: Theory-Building and Knowledge-Exchange with Industry, Regulators and NGOs' (PI, £166,718)
2014: ESRC Research Seminar Competition, 'DATA - PSST! Debating and Assessing Transparency Arrangements - Privacy, Security, Surveillance, Trust' (CI, £30,000)
2014: Strategic Insight Programme (SIP), ‘Advertising in Wales’ (PI, £2500)
2019: William Evans Fellowship, University of Otago in New Zealand (NZ$ 7500)
Media appearances and public engagement:
Interviews: Studio City for RTV Slovenija, Scientific American, The Sun, Guardian, The Register, ABC Radio (Australia), BBC Radio 4, BBC Wales, BBC Worldwide to discuss technology. Writing for industry outlets includes: Information Week, Information Age, WPP, ESOMAR, Privacy & Business Law and The Conversation on technology and politics. Documentary appearances: ‘Drawing the Line’ (Sensum) on emotional AI, Political Economy of Media (Sage), and Advertising (Lambert Productions).
Journalism: I write for The Conversation on matters involving advertising, technology and privacy. All articles available here. I have have also written for Sparksheet/WPP, an advertising industry publication. See here.
- Salon: invited discussion member at Privacy, Protection, Publicity: Does your Freedom have Boundaries? Dialogue, Shoreditch, London.
- Learning & Teaching Award (2008) from HEFCE/TQEF recognising excellence in teaching and learning support.
- Learning & Teaching Award (2007) from HEFCE/TQEF recognising excellence in teaching and learning support.
Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers; International Communication Association; Media, Communications & Cultural Studies Association; Association of Internet Researchers; International Association for Media & Communication Research; Authors’ Licensing & Collecting Society; Personal Data Trust Network (Digital Catapult).
Various lapsed blogs can be found online, but I'm active on Twitter @digi-ad.