Judy Ungar Franks

Assistant Professor

Judy Franks is a clinical assistant professor in the IMC program at Northwestern Medill. She joined the faculty in 2008 following a 23-year career in Chicago’s leading ad agencies, where she rose to the executive ranks across both the media and creative strategy disciplines. Franks teaches across all three IMC programs: the Undergraduate Certificate program, the Full-Time master’s program and the IMC Professional master's program. She teaches courses in both Consumer Insight and Media Strategy. She has received numerous teaching awards, including: the ASG Faculty Honor Roll across multiple years and IMC “Teacher of the Year.”

Franks is the author of the text, “Media: From Chaos to Clarity.” This text is widely circulated in both the marketing and advertising industry sectors and across several universities (NYU Stern School of Business among others). Franks has also published chapters on Paid, Owned and Earned Media as well as advances in Programmatic Television Advertising. She is a frequent guest speaker and panel moderator for issues related to the changing media world.

Franks remains highly engaged in the marketing and media industries. She serves as the Director of the 4A’s (American Association of Advertising Agencies) Institute of Advanced Advertising Studies—a prestigious training program for rising talent at Chicago’s leading advertising and communications services agencies. Franks is also the founder of The Marketing Democracy™ a global consultancy that advises blue chip marketers, top marketing services agencies and the media on integrating content and connection in a new media world. In 2021, Franks intends to expand The Marketing Democracy™ to serve businesses of all sizes with simple and accessible marketing tools for a new media world.

Franks is also a guest faculty member in Medill’s Social Media Marketing Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) through Coursera.

For more information, view Franks' curriculum vitae.

Authored Works

  • "Media: From Chaos to Clarity"
  • "We Now Know Which Half of Advertising is Wasted," published on HuffPost
  • "Marketers Beware: You Are Destroying the Most Valuable Media Channel," published on HuffPost

Awards And Honors

For four years, Franks has been named the Top 100 Faculty of Northwestern University by the Northwestern University ASG. Throughout her career, Franks received numerous industry awards such as Effie, CLIO and Vanguard for marketing and media innovation.

Areas of Research

  • “Binge Viewing: The New Appetite for Television” uncovers new patterns of TV consumption and the impact on television advertising effects
  • “MPA: Benchmark Social Media Study,” a strategic advisor to the Association of Magazine Media on a comprehensive analysis of magazine readers’ engagement with magazine brands in the social sphere
  • “In Search of TV Episodes: How Not to Reward Fan Loyalty” published in The Huffington Post