Case29TheUnattainableIdeal - Ichristians8e C HAPTER S EVEN...

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Ichristians8e CHAPTER SEVEN Advertising in an Image· Based Culture 157 .ettle a class- Ie been fired 'ark with the Americans r :ision to pro- carrect, that 2nsive, Who ate existing 1wornenas petent (as in to a climate ive, women unt for over these mes- le questions lsive stereo- -shirts: ley de- Seeing pointedly: denigrates I to offer in l€ group at md ethical looking at '\mericans lave to say lrportedly America, ~e maSCli- 2 parts in the masculine pursuit. T-shirts don't "poke fun" at men as Carney suggested, but rather serve to elevate their status as the group in control. YVhat then are ethical dimensions here? Starting ,vith a traditional marketing defense of utilitarianism, the obvious retort is: "But people buy these shirts." This could be viewed as at least indirect approval of the advertising message. A Kant- Ian approach might flounder on the question of whether nll mass media represen- tations are not likely to be offensive to at least some, thus essentially precluding the very essence of advertising as a communication form \vhich relies on stereo- types for quick communication. One might ask: do cultural icons and trendsetters like Abercrombie & Fitch have an obligation to society to create and disseminate more socially responsible messages? While Abercrombie & Fitch defends its efforts as being appropriate for the intended target audience of college-age students, the fact remains that younger consumers are hopelessly devoted to the brand. Jennifer Black, a retail and apparel analyst, postulates that Abercrombie "owns the most powerful stable of brands targeting the teen customer.".'. .! Are the ads, in this case 'I-shirts, appro-
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This note was uploaded on 09/12/2011 for the course ADVERTISIN 101 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '10 term at Temple.

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Case29TheUnattainableIdeal - Ichristians8e C HAPTER S EVEN...

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