General Article Sex sells, right?

Topic Selected: Sexualising Society Book Volume: 386
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The world is changing, and brands who found their fame by using sex in the past risk alienating consumers if they fail to keep up with evolving attitudes. Michaela Jefferson discovers how advertisers are embracing the challenge.

By Michaela Jefferson

Sex sells” is probably the most famous cliche in advertising. Sex sells lingerie, sex sells jeans, sex sometimes even sells sparkling water, hearing aids and cat food.

But within the last 50 years, sex has catapulted some brands - Calvin Klein, Abercrombie & Fitch and Wonderbra, for example - into the mainstream. Others, like Levi’s, have used sex to bring their businesses back to life.

However, despite being infamously repressed and tight-lipped about what goes on behind closed doors, perceptions of sex among British consumers have evolved enormously. With the likes of Skins, Sex Education and 50 Shades of Grey, mainstream media has become so saturated with sex that Game of Thrones throwing incest into the mix barely raised an eyebrow....

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