Sex and Puffery in Advertising: An Absolutely Sensational and Sexually Provocative Experiment

Douglas Amyx, Kimberly Amyx


A sample of 295 students participated in a 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 between subjects full factorial design experiment which examined the effects of advertising puffery and sexuality on attitude toward the ad. Subjects viewed ads and were evaluated on the following factors: model nudity (nude/clothed), message puffery (puffed/non-puffed message), and sex of the model (male/female). Additionally, sex of the subject was used as a blocking variable to create the fourth factor. No main effects were found for nudity or puffery. A strong and consistent opposite-sex effect was found for men where they preferred the female model. In contrast, women were not consistent with the opposite-sex effect. Men preferred the non-puffed message while women preferred the puffed message. Managerial implications are offered for the findings. Key words: Puffery; Sex; Print advertising; Nudity; Attitude

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