The Impact of Morality, Religion, and Law Upon Advertising Essay examples

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The Impact of Morality, Religion, and Law Upon Advertising

Religion and other value systems are certainly crucial in defining and sanctioning sex and decency. Moslem countries tend to frown upon all kinds of salacious displays and even indirect sexual references. Similar Christian standards operate in such countries as Ireland, South Africa, Mexico, and the Philippines. Other cultures may be considered rather tolerant in sexual matters (for example, French commercials on public television readily show live semi-nude models) but may prohibit any show of pubic hair (Japan), the promotion of contraceptives (France), or the lewd use of women (Scandinavia and the Netherlands) in advertisements. Values change, however. Thus, the spread of
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U.S. courts keep struggling with the definition of obscenity in the context of the First Amendment.

The activism of religious and feminist groups clearly affects the stiffening of standards. Several Moslem countries (such as Iran and Saudi Arabia) are strongly resisting the invasion of Western advertising themes and approaches. Besides, a vocal minority of women are increasingly objecting to the deprecation of their sex (in Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, and Sweden). They oppose ads that belittle women, insult their intelligence, depict them in an offending manner, imply sex inequalities, or display violence against them. Some people, including men, oppose commercials about personal-hygiene products (in Canada and the United States).

Media control is crucial whenever a strong clearance system exists (in Mexico and Taiwan), particularly where television and radio networks are government controlled or when general censorship prevails (in Indonesia and Saudi Arabia). In general, TV and radio commercials are more restricted than print and direct-mail ads, which are more selective in their audience-reaching; private networks are often more tolerant than public ones in such countries as Italy. In any case, much depends on the execution of the advertisements as well as on their placement and timing. An ad in Playboy or a commercial shown at midnight will be received differently from those appearing in general-circulation magazines

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