Controversial Advertising in The Fashion Industry

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About this sample

About this sample


Words: 596 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Dec 18, 2018

Words: 596|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Dec 18, 2018

Nowadays, even though controversial advertising is criticized, the fashion industry continues to employ this technique. So, who is inseparable from advertising? Where do advertisements exist? Advertising is closely integrated with the business because businesses will be unable to attract audience’s attention if the advertisement is not spectacular enough, which is why businesses chose to utilize provocation in their advertisements. On one hand, these advertisements are at risk of being banned, but since their products tend to sell well due to the advertisemnts, their brand awareness increases as well. So it can be seen that even though GUCCI, Calvin Klein and Dolce & Gabbana are known for their elegance, they have chosen to incorporate sex and violence in their advertisements, be it overt or implied.

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Additionally, the number of sexual advertisements is not only increasing in number, but are also becoming more daring. The content is becoming more “uninhibited”, which in fact reflects today’s popular culture. As one fashion observer pointed out, no matter which web page one browses nowadays, there are various sensational titles jumping out and people are looking at too many things, so businesses need something extra to grab people’s attention. Through the examples provided, we know that the word “sexy”, has always been used in the fashion industry. From Calvin Klein in the early 90s to American Apparel, a well-known British designer who passed away in 2010, many fashion designers have been adding sexual color to their advertisements. Calvin Klein, the founder and famous American designer of Calvin Klein, said that he constantly tried to portray pureness, sexiness and elegance, as well as to remain consistent in style and loyalty to his dream. However, despite the fact that controversial advertising is “a hit,” it still endures criticism.

For example, GUCCI had an advertisement in 2003, whereby the GUCCI logo was shaved into the pubic hair of a female model. The advertisement was very controversial at that time and was not endorsed by the public, even in the West. People have questioned whether there are ethics with regards to sexual advertising. The hardest part of such advertising is finding the right balance between the marketing purpose, moral thresholds and legal restrictions. It is not wrong for merchants to use nature as a selling point. Advertising itself is an art. The picture used can be teasing, but not pornographic; can be exposed, but not vulgar. It is important to remember that marketing is, by definition, an exchange.

The moment that youngsters purchase an item with cash, they are demonstrating that the said item has an equivalent or higher incentive than the price they paid. While some contend it is unfair to promote to adolescents, trade insights indicate that they are an eager and dynamic member of the target population and are of significant worth. In my opinion, the advertising industry should have a bit of controversy so that our lives are richer and more colorful. However, care should be taken so that it does not have a detrimental effect on teenagers. Additionally, this does not imply that there is no reason for concern. Teenagers and the younger demographic group are being targeted, and companies are getting inventive in reaching them. By utilizing advertising sites on top of in-store displays, packaging, and online picture messages, the new influx of utilizing provocation or sexual appeal to sell is coming.

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In other words, as an advertiser or designer, it is important to cultivate cultural responsibility and awareness. The commercial world is highly competitive. Therefore, in order to gain reputation and profit, fashion brands are using controversy as a technique to gain attention.

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Prof. Linda Burke

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Controversial advertising in the fashion industry. (2018, December 17). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 26, 2024, from
“Controversial advertising in the fashion industry.” GradesFixer, 17 Dec. 2018,
Controversial advertising in the fashion industry. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 26 May 2024].
Controversial advertising in the fashion industry [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2018 Dec 17 [cited 2024 May 26]. Available from:
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