As part of the Edinburgh International Festival’s schools programme the renowned speaker Dr Jean Kilbourne is to explore the influence of advertising with local pupils during inaugural session. 

Established author, feminist and award-winning filmmaker Dr Jean Kilbourne will talk on the topic of advertising and its influence on everyday life during the inaugural Edinburgh International Festival School Lecture this afternoon.


An internationally renowned expert on addictions, gender issues and the image of women in advertising, Dr Kilbourne will give her presentation The Naked Truth: Advertising’s Image of Women aimed at those aged 15 and upward. Dr Kilbourne was named by The New York Times Magazine as one of the three most popular speakers on college campuses, and was profiled in Feminists Who Changed America 1963-1975.


She will explore how the image of women has changed over the last 20 years, taking into account the connection between images and issues such as date rape, violence, eating disorders and increased rates of drinking and smoking among women.


Dr Kilbourne has been exploring the connection between advertising and public health issues, including violence against women, eating disorders and addiction since the 1960s and launched a movement to promote media literacy as a way to prevent these problems. A radical and original idea at the time, this approach is now mainstream and an integral part of most violence prevention programmes.


This Schools Lecture forms the first in a new strand of the Festival’s education and engagement work. Each year going forward will include a visit from a recognised speaker whose area of expertise complements that of the Festival’s wider themes and programme. It forms part of the Festival’s year round education and engagement work, which is estimated to reach over 3000 people this year.
This year the Festival has partnered with the Scottish Police Service’s Violence Reduction Unit at whose conference this Thursday 22 August Dr Kilbourne will also speak. Her Festival Lecture reflects the wider work that the VRU undertakes with young people through its Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) programme. MVP is a schools based project which encourages pupils to challenge aggressive and inappropriate behaviour. The project is currently being piloted in two schools (Portobello High in Edinburgh and the joint campus of Port Glasgow and St Stephen’s High in Inverclyde) and plans are being discussed regarding rolling out the project across Edinburgh. You can find out more about MVP on their website.


Edinburgh International Festival Schools Lecture

21 August 4.00pm

Running time appx 55 minutes

Holyrood High School

55 Duddingston Road West

Edinburgh EH15 3ST