Sonia Livingstone

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Sonia Livingstone is Professor of Social Psychology in the Department of Media and Communications at the London School of Economics.

  • DPhil Oxford
  • BSc UCL

Biographical Information


Current activities

Livingstone is a member of panel assessing the impact of the commercial world on children as part of The Children's Plan (DCSF), report due in March 2009. Also on the panel are David Buckingham (Chair) and Brian Young. [1]

In January 2009 the Advertising Association published their report entitled "Children's wellbeing in a commercial world". This report was produced for the panel of academics appointed by the Department of Children, Schools and Families (DCFS) to examine the impacts of the commercial world on children's wellbeing. The report concluded that, " there was no evidence of a decline on children's overall wellbeing, nor that the net impact of the commercial world has been negative over the past fifteen years. Indeed it finds plenty of evidence that aspects of the commercial world enhance the wellbeing of children.". [2]


In 2004 Livingstone, with Ellen Helsper, undertook a review of research into the effects of television advertising on children on behalf of Ofcom, the Office of Communications. The report Advertising Foods to Children: Understanding Promotion In The Context Of Children’s Daily Lives, concluded that obesity was a complex issue with many causes and that there was litte empirical evidence to support an advertising ban. Any initiative to tackle obesity needed to cover various aspects and any ban would only be part of that overall initiative. One of the contributors who advised on the report was Brian Young, a fellow member of the Advertising Education Forum. [3]


In reply to a Freedom of Information email request in January 2009 regarding her membership of the AEF, the records manager of the London School of Economics sent the following reply " Is Sonia Livingstone a member of the AEF academic network as is claimed on the AEF site? Yes. What are the dates of her membership? From Jan 2005 to date. What are the terms of the membership? They post Professor Livingstone's details on their website and keep her informed of their conferences and other events. Is she paid in cash or kind? There are no payments involved. Since joining, Professor Livingstone has kept four emails from the AEF, which show how often the AEF is in contact. " [5]

Publications, Contact, Resources and Notes




Room S105, Department of Media and Communications, London School of Economics and Political Science, Houghton Street, London, WC2A 2AE

Phone:+44 (0)20 7955 7710



  1. Reply to FOI request from DCSF to kerri Park, received 26 February 2009
  2. Advertising Association News Release, accessed March 12 2009
  3. London School of Economics Advertising foods to Children, accessed January 19 2009.
  4. Advertising Education Forum AEF Academic Network (AAN), accessed 1 August 2007.
  5. Email correspondence between Records Manager, London School of Economics, Rachael Maguire and Mary Craig January 5-14 2009.
  6. Reply to FOI request from DCSF to kerri Park, received 26 February 2009