"Sex sells" is a phrase that has been used for decades, usually as a justification by advertisers and the media for using suggestive imagery. But, a new study from The Ohio State University reveals that those half-naked women and men in ads are just distracting you. According to a report based on 53 studies over a course of 44 years, the seductive material can distract viewers—especially men— from what is being sold and put customers off from buying the product, which is the exact opposite of what it is supposed to do.
Brands like Gucci and Calvin Klein have relied on sex driven ads to promote their products for years, but the new findings say that type of advertising doesn't increase effectiveness—it can actually decrease it. The studies focused on violence and sex in movies, television programs, video games, and print. One author attributes desensitization to the fact that those provocative images no longer can keep our attention.
Ultimately, the authors suggest that advertisers should think twice about featuring the explicit content and should stick to G-rated material.