Use of Sexual Imagery in Advertising

Topics: Advertising, Marketing, Sex in advertising Pages: 3 (1135 words) Published: April 8, 2014
This paper will consider the implications for UK advertising of the use of sexual imagery. It will begin by identifying the importance and economic power of women as consumers in the UK. It will provide current examples of how sexual images are being used controversially in UK advertising and marketing . It will draw on academic literature to explore how sexual imagery can be used effectively in advertising before concluding with an assessment of the implications for UK advertisers. According to the UK Office for National Statistics’ “(2013) Summary of Household expenditure there are over 20 million adult women in the UK. They have an average disposable income of over £16,000 per annum. This represents a considerable consumer market by volume and value and not one that advertisers should either ignore or alienate through the use of offensive sexual images in advertising. However, some companies still appear not to recognise the potential risk to their ability to appeal to this sector represented by the use of inappropriate sexual imagery in their advertising. A recent example is the use of Robin Thicke’s video and song “Blurred Lines” to promote the Beats Pil Speakers. This resulted in nearly a hundred complaints to the UK Advertising Standards Authority resulting in the partial withdrawal of the Radio Shack / Beats Pil Advert, (Renaud-Komiya 2013). As reported in the Observer (Boffey 2013)(pressure groups UK Feminista and Object are continuing to campaign to persuade Tesco to ban the sale of Zoo and Nuts in their stores. Fang Liu et al (2009) identify the way in which sexual appeals in advertising work. They show that sexual appeals are effective at grabbing audience attention, evoking an emotional response and aiding recall. This is achieved, they argue, by combining degrees of nudity and suggestiveness. Suggestiveness is defined as the implication that sex is on offer. According to Beetles and Harris (2005) nudity is more acceptable to advertising...
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