College Directory

Cynthia R. Morton Padovano, Ph.D.

Professor - Department of Advertising

Office: 2082 Weimer Phone: 352-392-8841 Email:


Dr. Cynthia Morton completed Ph.D. studies in advertising at the University of Texas at Austin. She earned MBA and B.A. degrees at the University of Georgia, and has worked in the field of advertising as a researcher, educator, consultant, and industry professional for more than 20 years.

Her research focuses on issues associated with the theories of source effects and message persuasion, particularly in the contexts social issue advocacy, health communications, and cross-cultural audience influences. Her research has explored issues such as sexual health behaviors among mature patient audiences, communication strategies to prevent teen dating violence, and source effects of anti-terrorism messages in public service ads. She has presented her work a several academic conferences — both domestic and international — including the Association for Educators in Journalism & Mass Communications, the American Academy of Advertising, the American Marketing Association, and the International Communication Association. Her research has been published in the Journal of Advertising, Journal of Consumer Affairs, Journal of Current Issues and Research in Advertising, Journal of Promotion Management, the Journal of Nonprofit & Public Sector Marketing, and the Proceedings of the American Academy of Advertising. She has worked at the Leo Burnett advertising agency in Chicago, IL, and at the Carol Williams agency in Oakland, CA, prior to entering the academy and has consulted local and national organizations in strategic communication development and campaign planning. She is also maintains active membership in the American Academy of Advertising and the Association for Educator in Journalism & Mass Communication.

Dr. Morton teaches undergraduate and advertising courses in the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida and is a visiting lecturer to the Masters of International Advertising program in the Warrington College of Business also at the University of Florida. She has taught Advertising Research,  Principles of Advertising, Advertising Strategy, International Advertising, Advertising Campaigns, and Advertising Ethics. She also is a faculty member in the College of Journalism’s graduate program where she has taught Advertising Planning, Creative Strategy and Research, Mass Communication Theory, and Mass Communication and Society, and Survey Research.

Areas of Expertise

Advertising Campaign, Research and Strategy, Communication Strategy, Creative Strategy, Strategic Communication


Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin
M.B.A., University of Georgia
B.A., University of Georgia



Select Publications

Gaillard, T., Shambley-Ebron, D. Z., Vacarro, J. A., Neff, D., Morton, C., Swagger, P., Vieira, E., & Webb, F. (2024). Intergenerational Influence of African Americans, Caribbean and Hispanic/Latino Adults Regarding Decision to Participate in Health-Related Research. Research on Aging(Online First), digital. DOI: 10.1177/01640275241229411

Morton, C., Dodoo, N., Villegas, J., Mueller, S., & Chang, H. (2022). Advertising in the times of COVID: A Tight-Loose Analysis of Pandemic-Related TV Commercials. Journal of Current Issues and Research in Advertising. DOI: 10.1080/10641734.2022.2149640

Mueller, S., Morton, C., Johnson, B. K., Bhakti, B., & Morris, J. (2022). Like the Dad in the Ad: Testing a conceptual model for new fathers' responses to dadvertisements. International Journal of Advertising(June 2022), 1-30. DOI: 10.1080/02650487.2022.2091377

Morton, C. R., Habib, S., & Morris, J. D. (2021). What Women Want: The effect of health agency advertising on patient-doctor communication. International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing, 15(3), 451-465. DOI: DOI 10.1108/IJPHM-07-2020-0061


Dr. Morton’s research interests surround issues pertaining to social marketing, particularly as it relates to corporations’ involvement in social issue promotion, public policy, and issue advocacy. These issues have included alcohol moderation, health communication, terrorism awareness, and other societal concerns related to public behavior.

Research Keywords

Social issue marketing, issue advocacy advertising, issue-related advertising, cause-related communications, corporate advocacy, issue sponsorship, product placement, source credibility

Research Areas

  • Health and Science Communication
  • Health and Science Communication
  • International and Cross-Cultural Communication
  • Nonprofits, Social Marketing, and Philanthropy
  • Strategic Communication