The Utilization of Sex in Advertisement

Category: Culture
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The utilization of sex in advertisement seems to have expanded these days (Dianoux & Linhart, 2010) and perceived as vital yet extendable region of research (De Barnier & Valette-Florence, 2006). Moreover, such significance has turned out to be obvious in pretty much every organization around the globe where exceptionally aggressive condition has made organizations vigorously putting resources into utilizing offers in their ad endeavors, for example, sexist pictures, experiences, and sentimental issues. (Akhter, Abassi & Umar, 2011). Utilizing nakedness as a component of sex advances in advert industry remain a doubtful issue since religious practices of Islam is intensely impact the broad communications in Malaysia (Henthrone & LaTour, 1995). Advertisers regularly neglect the standard, social and religious estimation of the specific nation in their advertising correspondence practice (Akhter, Abassi & Umar, 2011) while religious beliefs known as basic part in shaping social action and along these lines, disappointment of getting from religious specialists will prompt deviance of wide fragment specifically nation (Fam, Waller & Erdogan, 2004).

Numerous questionable ads and wonder happened in Malaysia concerning to the sex requests issues. Firefly had expelled two ads on its Facebook page that demonstrated the backside of ladies in pencil skirts (Brown, 2016). AirAsia likewise evacuated Facebook ad highlighted the picture of a lady whose chest seemed, by all accounts, to be appearing, by the heading “”OMG!”” after online judgement from Malaysians who have asserted it was sexist (Malay Mail, 2017). The Snickers “”You’re not yourself when you’re hungry”” campaign, where the different forms of the plugs that circulated in Malaysia have a typical topic, in which the ladies in every ads are depicted as either annoying or weaklings, or out and out coward and forceful when they’re hungry (Lee, 2018).

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Advert viability should happen in unsurprising genuine point of view, henceforth, advertisers should pay considerations on conviction as basic factor that add to forming the genuine perspective (Abelson, 1988). Also, in advert with high conviction extent, performed point of view will increasingly steady and expected, where people with high conviction level will wind up more powerful in their mentality (Kim, Morris, & Swait, 2008).

The use of sexist ads will directly depict negative images impact not only to a person but the community in Malaysia . This will affect the construction of a civilized community. Besides, the exposure to sexist images in ads affected the acceptance of feminism and the women’s movement (Barve, Sood, Nithya, & Virmani, 2015). This will lead to many kinds of problems like depression and eating disorder among young girls when their bodies does not match the models depicted in advertisements. Not only women’s self esteem will be affected but also sexual behaviour between men and women (Bieda, 2008). It will form a wrong perception towards women.

Background of Study

Sexist advert is viewed as insulting most of the time, depending on the way of life and the nation. Malaysia is one of the nations that have multicultural, multiracial and multi-religion community. Religion incorporate Islam, Buddhism, Christianity and Hinduism. Such blend of culture setting globalized market segment, which comprises of standard arrangements and marketing task, pushed ad marketing to know about grouped environmentally social changes when going into a totally different market. Nature segments must be isolated among domestic and global markets and must be considered while sorting an item’s marketing strategy (Cateora, 1990). Besides, advertisers should be specific in picking the sort of ad and its appeal, not exclusively to pull in, but to persuade customers in acknowledge the genuine point of view.

Ads frequently contacts the limit of the prohibited, with the reason for pulling in thought (Hultin & Lundh, 2004). The borderline for the standard is pushed constantly, for example, the utilization of sex appeal. In Malaysia, the govern has updated the severe Malaysian Advertising Code of Ethics for Television and Radio to handle the message of ads and advert by limiting the utilization of sex to sell items and services (Advertising Standards Authority Malaysia, 2008). Scenes including models undress are not permitted and lady demonstrate must be secured from the neck area to beneath the knees. Different limitations incorporate scenes which recommend closeness, disco scenes, female napkins, and kissing between grown-ups (Johnson, 2007). In spite of law implemented, organizations regularly seek to turn out to be progressively innovative to “”slice through the clutter”” to pick up consideration and brand perception (Waller, 1999). Subsequently, worldwide advertiser regularly face a conspicuous problem when they bring an imported item into the nation with a Muslim fragment of the populace (Waller, Fam, & Erdogan, 2005).

One of the essential objectives of advertising to catch the thought of whoever looking at the advert. Although, Malaysia is a multicultural and multireligious nation, and past research attests that cigarettes, condoms, contraceptives and liquor items are viewed as doubtful in Malaysia (Schuster & Christine., 1987).Sex is shown in advert in numerous structures. However, the interest can be through physical or different characteristics or attributes of an individual, or to such characteristics in the setting in which they show up by an individual’s looks, developments, voice or smell, other than different components. The interest might be improved by an individual’s embellishments, dress, fragrance, hairdo, and anything that can draw in the sexual enthusiasm of someone else. Sex advance in promoting is the utilization of sexual or suggestive symbolism to attract enthusiasm to a specific item, for reason for deal.

An investigation by Ramirez and Reichert (2000) uncovered four attributes of attractive adverts: physical highlights of models, closeness among models, and relevant highlights, for example, camera impacts. They tried to discover what individuals think about hot in ad and the most widely recognized referent was 66% of physical highlights, trailed by a model’s developments and 39% of verbal and nonverbal correspondence, 26% of logical highlights, and proxemics 15%. They made an imperative note that what individuals mention as hot contrasted sexual orientation to sex. While trying to pull in shoppers and influence them to pursue the publicized items, a few promoters have reliably pushed the limits of what is morally and socially adequate. The most well-known sign is having models wear provocative or uncovering dress (Reichert, 2003). Sexist advert by one way or another do expand deals. As indicated by Harveston (2018), ads, for example, Aerie’s #AerieREAL battle are tries to change the account. After the organization chose to quit modifying its models in 2014, Aerie’s deals expanded by 32% in the primary quarter of 2016. This difficulties more seasoned adverts that concentrated exclusively on slim ladies.

Problem Statement 

There are various issues that we want to solve by conducting this investigation. One of the issue suggested is that the way women are depicted in advertisements affects how women’s role in society is perceived, and how a woman should act and behave (Lafky, Duffy, Steinmaus & Berkowitz, 1996; Lindner, 2004). There is a significant shift in society, where feminist try to break the norm of the common female body image by starting feminist movement such as #MeToo, a movement against sexual harassment and sexual assault. Nevertheless, female sexual objectification is still communicated in advertisements in Malaysia. Although there are some potential legal actions that are being discussed between political actors and marketing agencies, it is not clear what Malaysia citizens’ attitudes towards such advertisements are and how they may influence purchase intention. Also, research regarding attitude along purchase intent of Malaysian are observed to be limited and less till this date. Additionally, there are conflicting patterns of results related to consumer attitudes in relation to sexual content in advertising (Black & Morton, 2017; Vezich, Gunter & Lieberman, 2017; Wirtz, Sparks & Zimbres, 2018) which is why it seems important for researchers to identify consistent findings and salient themes. Understanding the attitudes of young adults is especially significant because they make up a large portion that companies target in their marketing activities (Byron, 2016; Schwabel, 2015) and they act as judge in the advertising and marketing industry (Cornelis & Peter, 2017).

Furthermore, wide research on the psychological effects from the usage of sexist advertisements in Malaysia has been studied (Lanis & Covell, 1995; Taylor, Miyazaki, & Mogensen, 2013; Vezich, Gunter, & Lieberman, 2017). In any case, the focal point in the past investigation has, for example, been on the way sexism impacts purchasers or individuals in Malaysia, and the way in which they regard themselves or others (Hirschman, 2016). It is been seen that there is a nonattendance of research as for how sexist ad impacts customer attitudes and purchase intention toward the brand of the ad. Further, there is also a non appearance of research, which, in this particular situation, considers the qualification in moods towards, similarly as sexual introduction differentiates in mood of action.

Assembling these issues together, the purpose of this investigation is to give a vital learning for marketing manager in order to understand the aftereffects of using sexist advertising in Malaysia. The yearning is to add to an increasingly understanding of the consequences for using sexist advertisements, by focusing on the customer attitudes and purchasing desire. Thusly, this examination will merge the conceptualization of sexism in ad, buyer outlooks and purchase objective across both genders. According to Robert (1979), the examination will search for bits of information and perception about customer point of view and purchasing point molded by sexist ads. In this way, this examination looks Malaysians’ reactions towards the portrayal of sexual content in a printed advert where the thing isn’t insulting.


Advertising is a type of interaction to illuminate about a specific items, favour or thoughts through the different media, and it is generally convincing commonly and paid by recognized patrons (Frovola, 2014). Advertisement is one of the most grounded effects on the arrangement of buyer behaviour (Andersson, 2017), and it will in the long run influence the profitability, it is essential to think about what message is being conveyed all through an advert. (Ataman, 2003).

Sexist Advertisement

Sexism in ads talks about the separation, stereotype and bias against sex in advert. Sexism in Advertisements has made how people should look and ought to be depicted in the public arena (Johar, 2003). Anyway these belief systems of people have contrary impacts and results on the normal people who don’t fall into those standards. It influences the two people anyway it is centered more around ladies. Sexist advert primary target is to draw individuals’ awareness. The messages conveyed are deliberately expected to convey the group of viewer to respond to it, to discuss, show understanding or contradiction. It should leave a solid impact on individuals’ brains, and enable them to honour the brand or the item in a less demanding path than the competitors (Patterson et al., 2009).


Attitude is how people view and respond to specific items as a valuation for the ads (Utami, 2017). It is the feedback of an individual to a surrounding object, in this study it is sexist advertisement (Lavine, 2015). The connection between the presentation to an advert and the evolution of buyer frames of mind has been contemplated, and is said to be an essential factor in deciding the ads viability (Edell & Burke, 1987).

Purchasing Intention 

Purchase intent is a kind of fundamental authority that examine the inspiration to buy a particular brand by buyer (Shah, 2012). Purchase point as a condition where consumer will buy a particular thing (Ogba, 2007). Customers aim to purchase is a complicated procedure. Purchase objective usually is related to the action, perceptions and moods of consumers. Purchase direct is a key point for customers to get to and rate the specific goods. (Jaafar, 1990) states that purchase point is a functional mechanical assembly to anticipate buying process. Variables such as cost, quality and value may affect purchase intent. Moreover, purchasers are impacted by inside or external motivations in the midst of the buying procedure (Bupphapant, 2017). Researchers have proposed six stages before obtaining to buy a goods, which are awareness, knowledge, interest, preference, persuasion and purchase (Mirabi, 2015).

Limitation of Study 

This investigation has a few barrier to be tended to bring downside of this study. Wide range attributes of respondents classifications will lead to the finding can’t accurately speaking to specific section of clients. Constrained sorts of improvements (Kelley, Clark, Brown, & Sitzia, 2003). For example, it is forbidden in Malaysia utilizing solid plain explicitly engaging ads is influencing the dimension of generalizability, while, the likelihood of presenting more improvements in the examination instrument is foremost in recognizing reactions.

Significance of Study 

This investigation will create new learning identified with attitude towards the advertisement display by Edell and Burke (1987). Subsequent to investigating the perspective towards the ads show by Edell and Burke (1987), the discoveries of the investigation will clarified why a Malaysians consumer are drawn towards sexists ad. Others may feel that sexist ads is insulting as it can straightforwardly impact the idea and in fact these days, various brands has started utilizing sexist advert to promote (Rantanen, 2017). It is vital to contemplate the intensity of sexist ads towards the obtaining aim as effect to the benefit of an organization. For instance, researchers that are supportive of sex appeal advert (Thiyagarajan, Shanti, & Naresh, 2012). Results recommend that sex appeal advert help advertisers to catch the eye of target consumers. More effortlessly, consumers consider those ads as more fascinating, engaging, consumers invest more energy in watching sex claim advert (Keller, 2009). Thus it help consumers to grow nearer bond with item consequently it prompts created more intense acknowledgment of brand and likewise prompts informal ads. Along these lines, this investigation will discover how sexists advert impact the purchase intention and Malaysians recognition towards sexist ads.

The Attitude Towards-the-Ad Model based on Schiffman, Wisenblit and Kanuk (2010) is a speculative framework that has been a great part of the time used to assess client recognitions towards ads. The model has spoken to enlightening force while exploring the effect of ads on brand point of view (Batra & Ray, 1986; Cacioppo, Petty & Morris, 1983; MacKenzie, Lutz, & Belch, 1986; Moore & Hutchinson, 1983). The model’s inspiration is to go about as an instrument to separate the impact of advert on buyer point of view. As can be seen inside the model (Figure 1), there are countless that attempts to illuminate the impact of adverts on purchaser recognitions. Edell and Burke (1987) prescribed that when purchasers are introduced to a particular or a particular advertisement, they develop a judgment acknowledgment about the advancement and feelings that are animated from the ads that are made. Feelings may happen all around rapidly and realizing non-verbal signs in advancements may evoke these affection much progressively faster. Edell and Burke (1987) battle that judgment perception and feeling that energized are two independent evaluation systems whereby feelings is furthermore superior and quicker than judgement. The judgement choices starting will provoke the feelings about the brand and how purchasers develop an outlook towards the business. Meanwhile, clients make feelings from the ad, which may prompt explicit outlook towards the advertisement similarly as feelings about the brand. Around the end, the judgement, affections and point of view towards the advertisement, similarly as the feelings about the brand will result in the general purchasing point towards the brand. The strategy may in like manner likewise wrap up end up in forming feelings about the brand clearly after being revealed to the advert (Schiffman, Wisenblit & Kanuk, 2010).


In the present society the media, certain ads in the advertising industry have showed sexist nature. Advertisement are often use to effectively misuse ladies’ sexuality, they speak to ladies as an object of wants (Robert, 1979). The advertisement scene misuses the magnificence, sweetness, of ladies who at that point become a item, the most effortless method for pulling in a client to look for an item. According to Baxter (2015), sexists advert fascinate is exceptionally critical for organization to form as indicated by explicit prerequisites of focused clients so as to persuade client about organization benefits so as to attract and produce profit.”

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The Utilization of Sex in Advertisement. (2021, Jun 17). Retrieved from