How Advertising is Covered in the Egyptian Press: a Longitudinal Examination of Content

Kevin L. Keenan
and
Berween Shoreh

In a global survey of attitudes towards advertising in 22 countries, conducted by the International Advertising Association in 1993, results indicated that: 'Egypt was the only market where respondents were consistently anti-advertising' (Wentz, 1993, p 1). Post hoc explanations of this finding suggested by the study's sponsors include increases in religious fundamentalism in Egypt and limited familiarity with advertising among Egyptians.

Religion and lack of familiarity may both be valid reasons for negative attitudes about advertising. Research in Saudi Arabia has reported that over 70 per cent of Muslim respondents there felt that advertising is a threat to Islamic culture (Al-Makaty et al., 1996). In particular, the major tenets and world view of Islam may have problems with advertising as practised in the Western world. It has been noted that messages based on 'prestige, envy, sex appeal' are likely to be unwelcome (Al-Makaty et al., 1996, p 25) and the advertising of alcohol or other products prohibited by the Muslim religion is also apt to be a concern.