Sex In Advertising Literature Review

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Advertising has become more than a means of selling products to customers. It creates a dream of which people aspire to the promise of something better. It comes in various forms and has been part of the culture for many decades (Cavendish, 2010). Throughout the centuries, there has been an increase in the use of sexuality in Advertising. It is known that sex, which appears in many Advertisements, is presented in various elements but is mainly presented in a visual manner, for example, the use of attractive models (Gould, 1994). The aim of this literature review is to examine the level of influence the use of sex has in advertisements. Although the literature covers a wide variety of such theories and explanations, this review will focus on…show more content…
For instance research by Baker (1961) indicates that the use of nudity as an advertising appeal may increase attention, but nonetheless, it is less effective than a non-sexual imagery in achieving brand recall (Steadman, 1969). In other words, if the advertising wanted to achieve brand recall, the use of sex in their adverts will not achieve this. Steadman concluded that the sexual attention that the advertisement attracts detracts from paying attention to the brand…show more content…
However, society can and often does put pressure on companies to remove ads that are controversial. Hyland (2015) states that proponents of sex appeal in advertising argue that society is capable of monitoring the marketing industry to ensure it complies with social norms. Because society does not always protest sex appeal in advertising, Hyland maintains that as long as society views a certain amount of sex appeal as acceptable, then the use of sex appeal in advertising is an appropriate form of marketing. On the other hand, sex appeal in marketing has been widely criticised for contributing to sexism and other social concerns. Scala (2013) explains that the majority of female respondents and half of male respondents believe that sexually explicit advertisements may contribute to sexual harassment. Gavett (2013) has accused sexually explicit marketing of contributing to distorted body images among consumers. Obsessions over the body seem to have increased in recent decades, representing a social concern that has plagued the younger generation in particular (Hultin and Lundh,

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