Dr. Bruce Vanden Bergh is highly respected for his broad, interdisciplinary approach to the study and application of advertising to include numerous interviews in media vehicles such as The Wall Street Journal and NPR in addition to an invited presentation at the Smithsonian Institution. He has served in leadership roles as Chairperson of the Department of Advertising from 1985 to 1997, and President of the American Academy of Advertising in 1995. Dr. Vanden Bergh is best known among his peers for an interdisciplinary study of the Volkswagen Beetle campaign of the 1960s published in the Journal of American Culture titled, ""Volkswagen as ‘Little Man,'"" that analyzes the Beetle’s image through the social and historical lens of comedic characters such as Charlie Chaplin’s “Little Tramp”. Dr. Vanden Bergh has been recognized for his career achievements with an outstanding alumni award from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, the Distinguished Faculty Award from Michigan State University, and the Distinguished Advertising Educator Award from the American Advertising Federation.
Dr. Vanden Bergh received his B.A. from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey (New Brunswick), M.S. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Ph.D. from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He started his academic career at Virginia Commonwealth University in 1971, and joined the MSU Department of Advertising in 1978 upon receiving his Ph.D. in communications from UTK.