UC Berkeley press release


Franco Nicosia, UC Berkeley marketing scholar and professor emeritus, is dead at age 70

by David Irons

Berkeley -- Franco Nicosia, professor emeritus of marketing at the University of California at Berkeley's Haas School of Business, died at his home in Moraga on Tuesday, March 11, after a long illness. He was 70 years old.

Nicosia, who joined the business school's faculty in 1959, was an innovator in the area of consumer behavior and deepened understanding of how consumers would respond to various kinds of marketing and social stimuli. A well-known theorist about the impact of mass media on society and the economy, he extended his interests in marketing and market research to such areas as the psychology of package design and truth in advertising.

"Franco was unusual in his ability to challenge and press faculty, colleagues and undergraduate, MBA and PhD students in a strong way toward engagement in significant problems and toward energetic

achievement," said Frederick Balderston, professor emeritus of marketing at the Haas School.

Nicosia's work with doctoral students in marketing at UC Berkeley was especially influential. Ikujiro Nonaka , who received his MBA in 1968 and his PhD in 1972 from the Haas School and is a leading professor of business at Hitotsubashi University in Japan, regarded Nicosia as a mentor and a key figure in his professional development.

Nicosia's best-known book, "Consumer Decision Processes: Marketing and Advertising Implications" (Prentice Hall, 1966), was considered a landmark in the field. Translated into five languages, it was widely quoted in marketing literature for years after its publication. He was also co-author of the textbook, "Advertising: Principles and Management," (Irwin, 1977).

In the latter part of his career, his research included consumer behavior in developing countries and consumer attitudes toward technology-based products, pollution and energy conservation.

An elected Fellow of the American Psychological Association, he was also active in the American Association of Public Opinion Research in the 1970s and 80s.

Nicosia received his PhD from the business school at UC Berkeley in 1962, 10 years after earning his first doctorate in economics and commerce from the University of Rome. He retired from university teaching in 1991.

He is survived by his son Marco and his two daughters, Antonia and Daniela.

Funeral services were held on Friday.

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