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M&S Lingerie ad 'Socially Irresponsible' - Essay Example

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M&S Lingerie ad 'Socially Irresponsible'

The article compares this image to another recently banned image used by Lynx, for the same sexually suggestive reasons. The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) is cited as beginning to take a tougher approach on these issues, backed by David Cameron in a bid to stop unregulated sexual imagery. This comes at a time when the Prime Minister himself is trying to uphold ‘family values’ and thus the advertisement industry is being required to comply with these new political ideas. This issue has wider implications because it involves the marketing industry as a whole as well as calling into question ethical theory and social responsibility for companies. Schlegelmilch & Oberseder (2010) have examined ethical trends in marketing (through the use of several types of marketing literature) and found the following: a generally increasing appreciation of ethical and moral issues in marketing (see figure 1), an increase in sexual imagery issues within ethical marketing, an increased understanding of the ethical needs associated with different religious and social groups, and an increased role for the internet in ethical marketing debates Figure 1 – The number of ethics related articles found in various marketing journals throughout recent decades; showing an increasing trend (Schlegelmilch & Oberseder, 2010) This general increase in scholarly articles about the ethics of marketing, as well as the evidence from the original article that the ASA is taking an increased interest in the reduction of available sexual imagery is interesting. Firstly, it suggests that there is an increased need for marketing companies to ensure that their images are socially appropriate without losing any of the impact factor needed to be effective. Secondly, it suggests that overly sexual imagery may not have the desired effect on the customer, and may have a ‘turn-off’ factor above a certain level. Finally, the evidence suggests that sexual imagery needs to be confined to the appropriate avenues, rather than being used in outdoor advertisements like this Marks & Spencers advertisement. Interestingly, this was not the only article about the links between marketing and social effect to be published in Marketing Week recently. Another article describes the banned Final Destination poster involving disturbing imagery (see Figure 2) with a skull being shattered by steel rods (Johnson, 2011). Again, this image was for use in the public domain in outdoor locations, easily seen by children. The advertisement series was banned for being disturbing and showing horrific imagery where it was not appropriate. Again, this shows a growing concern about the type of advertising imagery available in the public domain and a need to show concern for who may be able to view this imagery. It also suggests that sexual imagery is not the only target for responsible marketing, and all types of image should be considered before release. Again, it must be noted that images need to fall within a small threshold of effectiveness and social responsibility (Sen & Bhattacharya, 2001). Research by Robin & Reidenbach (1987) suggests that many marketing directors believe that there should not be an issue between social responsibi ...Show more


M&S lingerie ad ‘socially irresponsible’ Marketing, as one of the most important aspects of a company, has a huge impact on society and usually has wider implications than simply advertising. This is one of the reasons why marketing directors need to ensure that their advertisements are socially responsible, and this is the main topic of this article…
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M&S Lingerie ad Socially Irresponsible essay example
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