Advertising in Malaysia - A cultural perspective

Shengliang Deng, Smita Jivan and Mary-Louise Hassan

This article outlines, through a cultural perspective, one possible approach for advertising in Malaysia. The basis for this approach is derived from an analysis of the standardized and localized schools of advertising. Within the study, a Canadian example is used to shed light on the implications for businesses around the world for advertising in Malaysia. In addition, a comparison is drawn between Saudi Arabian and Malaysian cultures to determine if an advertising strategy used in other Islamic countries should be adopted in Malaysia. The findings suggest that although the majority of the citizens of Malaysia are Muslim, Malaysia's heterogeneous culture does not encourage a strict adherence to Islamic principles. The implication for Western businesses advertising in Malaysia is that a compromise be struck between a standardized and a localized advertising strategy.