Consumer Offense Towards the Advertising of Some Gender-Related Products

Consumer Satisfaction, Dissatisfaction and Complaining Behavior, Inc.
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Consumer Satisfaction, Dissatisfaction and Complaining Behavior, 2007, 20 (1), pp. 72 - 85
Issue Date:
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Causing people to take offense can occur when a marketer undertakes a controversial advertising campaign. What can make this a particularly important issue is when companies make what for many individuals is a controversial product, like condoms, erectile dysfunction drugs, feminine hygiene products and certain kinds of underwear. Such companies manufacture legitimate products for their target customers, and they need to be able to communicate an effective message to their customers without causing offense that can lead to dissatisfaction, negative publicity, the rejection of the message, boycotts, other forms of complaining behavior, or other unpleasant outcomes. This article presents the results of a survey of 265 university students to examine whether they perceive particular gender-related products as offensive, what execution techniques, if any, lead them to find advertisements offensive, in general, and to calculate correlations to find out any potential association between specific gender-related products and specific offensive advertising execution techniques. The inquiry uncovered a number of execution techniques that were perceived as offensive and there were several statistical differences in comparisons between gender and age.
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