Wednesday, 27 July 2016

There's a world of difference between sex and sexism in advertising


Image via iStock

Linda Brennan, RMIT University; Colin Jevons, Monash University, and Glen Donnar, RMIT University

Advertising and sex are two of the oldest professions in the world. Indeed, one of the earliest uses of advertising was to advertise sexual services; prostitutes in Ancient Greece carved ads into the soles of their sandals so that their footprints read: “Follow me”.

Sex and sexism, however, are different things. One is fun and most people do it at some time in their lives; the other is offensive and should never be done at all. But if recent events – from Eddie McGuire to Steve Price – are any indication, it seems sexism, like porn, is something you only know when you see it.

If you need to know how this plays out in advertising, the award-winning Game of Balls ad is sex-in-advertising. The Ultratune ads are sexism in advertising, as is the campaign using pre-teen models in sexualised poses to advertise dancewear.

Given that we do not seem to know what the difference is, let’s start by defining our terms:
  • Sex is an act (no further explanation forthcoming but you can look it up on the internet if you wish). Of course, there are additional meanings, but for the purpose of this article we will use the verb not the noun.
  • Sexism is the assumption that one sex is inferior to the other and/or prejudice or discrimination based on sex or gender and/or insistence on conformity to a sexually stereotyped role.
Sex is fun so it gets attention … and advertisers know that attention is the first step in advertising effectiveness.

The axiom “sex sells” has long standing in “adland”. And if only because something old must surely be correct, it is consistently relied on to create ads that sell.

However, we have found numerous studies showing that, in general, sex does not sell. The only exception to this is when the product directly relates to sex and sexual function, including enhancing desirability.

An irrelevant sexual appeal distracts from rather than supports consumer engagement with the advertised product, service or message. If you get people’s attention through sexual references, they will continue to think about sex because it is more fun than shoes, cars etc. But they are not thinking about purchasing your product; they are thinking about sex.

The assumption that “attention equals purchase” drives many award-seeking creative agencies. Any attention is deemed a positive outcome and is called “earned media”, because the publicity gained will count towards the success metrics in terms of space (calculated in terms of the amount of space you would have paid for if it had been an ad). An ad that creates public outcry is assumed to be good.

But not all publicity is good publicity, and sometimes offended consumers vote with their wallets.
Another advertising appeal that works to gain attention is humour. Humour appeals are designed to evoke positive emotions. Hence, many ads combine sex and humour to maximise the fun value of the attention-getting devices and thereby increase positive brand associations.

Humour is most effective when the sender and receiver possess a shared frame of reference and understand the “rules” of the communication. Without a shared frame of reference, the scope for misunderstanding is increased and the recipient may not “get” the humorous intent.

This partially explains why advertising such as the most complained about ads of 2016 often combine sex and humour appeals. The combination of appeals earns attention, but if you are not the primary target market you may be offended.

In advertising, the right target market will “get it” and the wrong target market is effectively excluded from the communication. And being told to lighten up makes the offended recipient, rather than the offensive sender, responsible for the misaligned communication.

See, for example, the growing popularity of the “non-apology apology”: “I am sorry if you were offended”. A review of the responses to complaints made to the Advertising Standards Board (ASB) will demonstrate mastery of this type of apology.

If the measure of an ad’s success is “earned media”, a complaint does not hurt the advertiser. Even if the complaint is upheld – which is statistically unlikely – the outcome is withdrawal of the offending ad only after it has done its job of creating free publicity. It is often only when there is also potential for a commercial loss that reparation is attempted.

It may be unsurprising that the ads that are most complained about to the ASB, a self-regulatory industry board, are predominantly dismissed. But how can a standards board that claims “40 years of meeting community standards” be so out of step with Australian standards?

The answer may lie in a 2013 report for the board in which exploitative and degrading advertising was explored. The issue of sexist advertising was not covered (the word sexist is mentioned once).

The code of ethics that the ASB upholds requires that for a complaint to be upheld, the ad must be clearly discriminatory, exploitative or degrading, gratuitously violent, present sex, sexuality and nudity without sensitivity to the relevant audience, use obscene or strong language, or present unsafe behaviour when it comes to health and safety. Since the code does not explicitly cover sexism, the board cannot act on sexism, regardless of the number of complaints made.

The board’s attempts to defend itself show that there is societal harm in conflating sex with sexism. The ASB clearly doesn’t get it when it comes to the difference or why it matters.

The act of sex is usually not harmful, but sexism always is. The lack of recognition of sexism in all its guises – humorous, covert or overt – colludes with the system-wide culture that permits and therefore encourages behaviours such as we have seen recently in the media.

Attitudes and behaviours many consider sexist can be invisible to those with a vested interest in maintaining their privileged positions. The perpetrator simply does not “see” their sexism as sexism.
Sexism is not always obviously violent, exploitative or degrading. It can be unintended or disguised innocently as humour, but it is always insidious, offensive to and exclusionary of its victims.

Sex may gain attention, but sexism will not build a 21st-century brand. And perpetrators of the latter cannot be relied on to know when they are being sexist, unless told consistently, clearly and often. So the ASB must review its code to specifically include sexism and bring it into alignment with broader 21st-century community standards.

And it’s time the advertising industry went back to ad school and found a new measure of success beyond attention-seeking. Sexism in or out of advertising is never “just a joke”, it is offensive – and everyone needs to see that.

Linda Brennan, Professor of Media and Communication, RMIT University; Colin Jevons, Associate professor, Monash University, and Glen Donnar, Lecturer in Media and Communication, RMIT University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

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Hamsite said...

شرکت هم سايت ارائه دهنده خدمات طراحي سايت و خدمات بهينه سازي و سئو و خدمات بازاريابي و تبليغات اينترنتي است.
شما مي توانيد طراحي سايت براي مشاوره طراحي سايت و مشاوره بهينه سازي و سئو سايت و مشاوره بازاريابي اينترنتي مشورت کنيد و با بازديد از مقاله هم سايت و شناختن از واژه ياب همسايت و از مقالات هم سايت بيستر آشنا بشويد.
واژه ياب هم سايت و گروه و تيم همسايت با داشتن گنجينه هم سايت ارائه دهنده سفارشي ها هم سايت و بهينه سازي و سئو و

Hamsite said...

بازاريابي و تبليغات اينترنتي است.
درباره هم سايت را در دفتر تماس با همسايت هم سايت با خدمات تبليغات و خدمات طراحي و خدمات سئو را با قيمت طراحي سايت و قيمت بهينه سازي و سئو سايت و قيمت بازاريابي و تبليغات سايت ببينيد.
آيا طراحي وب سايت را مي شناسيد.
براي شناخت از بازاريابي بايد از شرکت طراحي سايت آشنا بشويد
طراحي وب
بهينه سازي و سئو سايت
بازاريابي و تبليغات اينترنتي هم سايت
گروه و تيم همسايت با

Hamsite said...

سئو حرفه اي بهترين را براي مشاوره سئو
يا سئو و بهينه سازي سايتيا بازاريابي و تبليغات اينترنتي و آنلاين به شما مي دهد.
بهينه سازي سايت و يا تبليغات و يا افزايش بازديد سايت را با سئو سايت را ببينيد.و مقالات ديجيتال مارکتينگ و

Hamsite said...

براي اين کار يا يا که طراحي سايت در تهران و بهينه سازي وب سايت مي توان بهينه سازي و مشاوره بهينه سازي و سئو را تا مشاوره بازاريابي آنلاين و سئو براي دو افزايش رنک گوگل و افزايش بازديد و همچنين شبکه تبليغاتي را دارا مي باشد و در افزايش پيج رنک گوگل دارد شرکت تبليغاتي و کانون تبليغاتي و معرفي سايت به گوگل و طراحي سايت تخصصي و طراحي وب سايت تخصصي است و در ادامه مي توان گفت واژه ياب همچنان واژه ياب فارسي و واژه هاي تخصصي و واژه تخصصي پزشکي و واژه تخصصي مهندسي هستند و همه چي درباره بازاريابي اینترنتی و همه چي درباره بازاريابي آنلاين و درباره بازاريابي اينترنتي و درباره بازاريابي آنلاين مي باشند که بهينه سازي و سئو و آموزش بهينه سازي و سئو و آموزش سئو و مقالات بهينه سازي و سئو و مقالات سئو و سئو چيست و آموزش کامل سئو و آموزش کامل بهينه سازي و سئو که هستند و بازاريابي ايميلي و ايميل مارکتينگ و آموزش بازاريابي ايميلي و آموزش ايميل مارکتينگ و مقالات بازاريابي ايميلي و مقالات ايميل مارکتينگ مي باشند و بازاريابي اينترنتي و آموزش بازاريابي اينترنتي و آموزش بازاريابي آنلاين و مقالات بازاريابي اينترنتي و مقالات بازاريابي آنلاين و بازاريابي آنلاين هستند اما

Hamsite said...

با همراه کارشناسان طراحي سايت و بهينه سازي و بازاريابي که همچنان و بازاريابي و تبليغات اينترنتي است.و را در را با مي توان همچنين طراحي سايت حرفه اي و طراحي وب سايت حرفه اي مي توان از طراحي سايت شرکتي و طراحي وب سايت شرکتي در ادامه اين طراحي سايت تجاري و طراحي وب سايت تجاري و يکي از همين طراحي سايت اختصاصي و ديجيتال مارکتينگ چيست و بازاريابي الکترونيک و تجارت الکترونيک و آموزش تجارت الکترونيکمي باشد.و طراحي سايت صنعتي و طراحي وب سايت صنعتي که بهترين طراحي رو براي طراحي سايت املاک و طراحي وب سايت املاک که مي توان طراحي سايت رستورانديجيتال مارکتينگ و آموزش ديجيتال مارکتينگ و بازاریابی اینترنتی و بازاریابی آنلاین

Hamsite said...

و.همچنان با و کسب و کار اینترنتی و کسب و کار آنلاین . اما طراحي وب سايت اختصاصي مي توان با طراحي سايت سازماني ، طراحي پرتال سازماني که اين همان طراحي سايت کارخانه و طراحي سايت کافي شاپ که اين يک طراحي سايت معماري و طراحي سايت دکوراسيون داخلي است.طراحي سايت خبري و طراحي وب سايت خبري و ديگر طراحي سايت خودرو و همچينين طراحي سايت دانشگاه و طراحي وب سايت دانشگاه همچنان

Hamsite said...

طراحي سايت پزشکي و طراحي وب سايت پزشکي و طراحي سايت بيمارستان در ادامه مي توان نشان داد که طراحي سايت دندانپزشکي ، طراحي سايت هتل و طراحي وب سايت هتل همواره سايت هايي چون طراحي سايت آژانس مسافرتي و طراحي وب سايت آژانس مسافرتي و طراحي سايت آژانس هواپيمايي مي توان يکي از طراحي فروشگاه اينترنتي ، طراحي سايت فروشگاه اينترنتي ، طراحي وب سايت فروشگاه اينترنتي ، طراحي سايت فروشگاه ، طراحي وب سايت فروشگاه ، طراحي وب سايت فروشگاهي و در يکي از