A Hong Kong view of offensive advertising

Gerard P PRENDERGAST*, Benny Ho, Ian Phau

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Considerable research has been conducted on offensive advertising in Western countries. However, not much is known about consumers' views of offensive advertising in an Asian context. This research, which was conducted in Hong Kong, aimed at identifying what product/service advertisements consumers find offensive, what executional styles consumers find offensive, consumers' tolerance of offensive advertisements in different media and the effects of offensive advertisements on consumers' purchase intentions. The results from a survey of 200 consumers showed that chat-line services and funeral services were considered the most offensive products or services to be advertised. When looking at the manner of advertising, sexist themes, indecent language and nudity were found to be the major reasons for the respondents finding advertisements offensive. In general, direct mail was considered to be a medium that prompts lower tolerance by consumers to potentially offensive advertisements while men and women's magazines were considered to be media that prompt higher tolerance to potentially offensive advertisements. Finally, it was found that levels of advertising offensiveness had an effect on purchase intentions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-177
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Marketing Communications
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Marketing

User-Defined Keywords

  • Consumers' attitudes
  • Hong Kong
  • Offensive advertising
  • Purchase intentions
  • Tolerance


Dive into the research topics of 'A Hong Kong view of offensive advertising'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this