How Far Is Too Far? The Antecedents of Offensive Advertising in Modern China

Previous research has classified offensive advertising into matter (offensive products and services) and manner (offensive execution).

How Far Is Too Far? The Antecedents of Offensive Advertising in Modern China

Gerard Prendergast and Wah-Leung CheungHong Kong Baptist University

Douglas WestUniversity of Birmingham, UK


People may perceive advertising to be offensive for a variety of reasons (Aaker and Bruzzone, 1985). The issue is sensitive for agencies and their clients: In some cases, advertising that “offends” some audience pockets also has been found to significantly increase attention, benefit memory, and positively influence behavior (Dahl, Frankenberger, and Manchanda, 2003). Such “positive offensive” outcomes, in fact, can benefit the brand (LaTour, Pitts, and Snook-Luther 1990).


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