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When are sexual advertisements too hot for TV? March 3, 2010

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Brazil’s second largest brewer was recently forced to withdraw a television advertisement featuring Paris Hilton getting aroused by a beer can to the delight of the neighborhood looking through her windows. The company, Devassa Bem Loura, has denied that the ad is offensive in any way, but agreed to pull it nevertheless. The action will likely end government investigations into the matter, triggered by complaints from consumers and female politicians.

To see the ad yourself, watch the following video:

This wasn’t the first time that Hilton appeared in this kind of commercial, though. To see her featured in an earlier ad for Carl’s, Jr., watch the following clip:

Discussion Questions:

1.  Why do advertisers use sex appeals to reach the masses? More specifically, how do sex appeals work?

2.  What are the risks of using sex appeals in public communication?

3.  When are sex appeals offensive? What standards should advertisers use when planning to use sex appeals?

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