Ethics in advertising: sex sells, but should it?
Publication: Journal of Legal, Ethical and Regulatory Issues
Publication Date: 01-JAN-06 Format: Online
Delivery: Immediate Online Access
Ads by Google
Wine Spectator magazine Direct from Publisher. 2 trial issues. Free gift. www.WineSpectator.com
The purpose of this paper is to discuss whether or not it is ethical to use sexual appeals in advertising. The study also examines (1) if sex actually sells and if so, when and where is it being used in advertising, (2) the use of men and women in ads of a sexual nature, and (3) the role that ethics plays in the use of sexual appeals in advertising. It is important because it not only focuses on the use of sexual appeals in advertising, but also how ethical it is to do so.
The study found that sexual appeals are used often in advertising. Sex does catch people's attention in advertisements, but usually without much brand recognition. Women have been the primary focus in sexual advertising in the past and present, but men are starting to be used more often as the sex object in advertisements. Ethics plays a definite role. There is no clear view of what is ethical and what is unethical when it comes to advertising, but with careful consideration and planning, it is possible for advertisers to find a common ground and use sexual appeals without offending people in the process.