Is sex a laughing matter? - an intercultural perspective on advertising

Jackson, Delia Anne and Engelbart, Silke orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-3699-1286 (2014) Is sex a laughing matter? - an intercultural perspective on advertising. In: Supporting Internationalisation through Languages and Culture in the Twenty-First-Century University. Intercultural Studies and Foreign Language Learning, 15 . Peter Lang, pp. 57-92. ISBN ISSN 1663-5809

[thumbnail of Final Paper for the conference Supporting Internationalisation at UCLAN 2012.pdf] PDF - Accepted Version
Restricted to Repository staff only


Official URL:


How acceptable is the use of sex and nudity in advertising in different cultures? According to Reichert (2008), sex sells, yet a number of factors influence the success:
• The degree of nudity and sexual imagery.
• When does sexy cross the line to become sexist and immoral?
• Do sexy images become more acceptable if humour is added to the mix?
Sex /nudity or humour has been the base of advertising campaigns for a long time. This paper addresses the influence that humour and ethnic background can have on the acceptance of advertisements using sexual appeal.. Participants from China, France, Germany and Spain were shown humorous and non-humorous ads from 7 countries which used sex appeal as a selling point. Focus group discussions showed that there were clear differences between levels of acceptance, reflecting the relevant masculine or feminine culture. The combination of sex, humour and ethnic background has not previously been the subject of research in a national or intercultural context. This paper is a first step to address this gap.

Repository Staff Only: item control page