Sex In North America
Shawn Brown 1006863583

North America is broken down into:
  • 3 countries - Canada, United States, and Mexic
  • 343 Million People live within North America
  • 7 Major religions
  • 250 Different Cultures are currently within North America

Being as multicultural North America is, marketers tend to simply break it up into countries rather than cultures.
How each country controls sex in advertising and its effectiveness in the media to their consumers.
  • Mexico
    • Mexico consists of governmentally controlled broadcasting systems, this means that it is harder for ads with sexually enticing images or slogans to be seen on TV and heard on the Radio. With this being said, marketers and advertisements tend to bend the corners by releasing the adds with in News papers and magazines.
    • Advertisements with sexual engaging slogans and images are effective when seen by the public in Mexico. But not so effect on TV and radio due to the controlled broadcasting systems.
  • United States
    • The United States thrives of sex, it is seen everywhere, almost to the point where it is hard not to run into a billboard or add in a magazine simply on your regular day’s work, that wouldn’t consist of some sort of sexually intimidating imagery.
    • The use of sex in the media as a way to sell to people of all cultures (with the exceptions of some) is extremely effective in the United States.
  • Canada
    • Much like Mexico, Canada also contains a censured broadcasting system. The difference is that Canada is not as strict as Mexico. Canada follows a Semi-Censured Broadcasting System. This allows sexual ads from being seen so frequently on TV and heard on the radio, except Canadian companies have ways of going around this by doing things like
      • advertising with these methods through
        • billboard, magazine adds, newspapers, etc
        • After hours broadcasting.
    • Even with these limitations on our broadcasting systems, it is still being leaked out which is allowing younger audiences to view the ads and understand that there is a sexual message being said with the product, and people are then buying these products with false impressions.

A way to determine if an advertisement is considered to be sexual, are if the following four characteristics are included.
  • Physical Features of models (clothing, physique, and general attractiveness)
  • Behavior/movement
  • Contextual features (camera effects)
  • Intimacy between models.

A great example is; Calvin Klein Jeans Campaign. This campaign involve the presents of a Calvin Klein Jeans billboard located right in the heart of downtown New York City for everyone to see. The billboard is nearly five stories tall and about three hundred feet wide. It features a young girl topless wearing nothing but Calvin Klein Jean shorts. That’s not the shocking part; the shocking part of this billboard campaign is that she is accompanied by three young boys, all in a sexual position near or around her. A news report by CDSNEWS ( states that this campaign is merely child pornography as the girl in the picturCK_Jeans.jpge is no more than 15 years old. The news report also states that when the company was confronted about this “child pornography” all that they had to say was that they were trying to stay relevant to a new generation of teenagers, and appealing to their target demographic, while competing to the sexy likes of American Apparel and Abercrombie and Fitch. Calvin Klein Jeans says that the purpose of this campaign is to speak to the audience of the targeted market. Dr. Jenn Berman says “This is not like television stations, where you can just change the station if you do not like what you’re seeing, this is on the street, you cannot protect your children’s eyes away from it, and you cannot protect your own eyes away from it.” Dr. Berman also states that today’s society is “moving from girl power, to girl sexual power, and that is not good for our daughters to be brought up in. There is a very fine line from a girls sexual fantasy and gang rape” also said was “out girls are bombarded with images that are devoid of emotion, connection, and love”.

According to a study by Richins (1991) more than 50% of respondents in North America said that when they see clothing advertisements like Calvin Klein jeans, Dolce & Gabbana, American Apparel, or Abercrombie & Fitch, they compare themselves with the models in such advertisements at least half the time if not more frequently. When such respondent in North America see these models in these advertisements, they will rate such model on attractiveness of more ordinary looking people lower than they would otherwise. It is said that sex plays three major roles in advertising (Shimp, 2003).
  • The role that sexual material acts as an initial attention lure and retain awareness for a longer period, often by featuring attractive models in challenging poses.
  • The potential role to improve recall of message points.
  • The role performed by sexual content in advertising is to evoke emotional responses, such as feelings of arousal and even lust.

Dr. jenn Berman . Author. 2011. 0. > The A to Z Guide to Raising Happy, Confident Kids (2011)

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Lambiase, J. & Reichert, T. (2003). Sex in advertising. Mahwah new jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

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Ramirez, A. & Reichert, T. (2000). Defining sexually oriented appeals in advertising: A grounded theory investigation. Advances in consumer research, Vol 27.

Reichert, T. (2003). The prevalence of sexual imagery in ads targeted to young adults. Journal of consumer Affairs, Vol 37 Issue 2.

Richins, M.L. (1991). Social Comparison and the idealized images in advertising. Journal of consumer research, Vol 18

Shimo, T.A (2003). Advertising, Promotion, & Supplemental aspects of integrated marketing communications. Mason, Ohio : Thomson South-Western.