Sex in advertising


Sex in advertising is the use of sexual interest as a tool of persuasion to draw interest to a particular product, for purpose of sale.

Images of pretty women often appear in ads even when they have no connection to the product being sold. Here a provacatively clad woman lends "sex appeal" to a 1921 ad for tire valve caps.

Sex is considered one of the most powerful tools of marketing and particularly advertising. Post-advertising sales response studies have shown it can be very effective for attracting immediate interest, holding that interest, and, in the context of that interest, introducing a product that somehow correlates with that interest.

The use of sex in advertising can be highly overt or extremely subtle: from relatively explicit displays of sexual acts, down to the use of basic cosmetics to enhance attractive features. The more subtle end of this spectrum has penetrated all types of media including news casts, documentaries, and even tele-evangelists. The use is not limited to visual media either: one of the criteria in selecting DJs and announcers is the "sexiness" of their voice.

Use of sexual imagery in advertising has been criticised on different grounds. Conservatives, especially religious ones, consider it obscene. Many feminists feel it objectifies women (as women are more often portrayed in a sexual manner than men) Some claim it reinforces sexism.

See also: marketing, advertising, promotion, beauty advertising

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