General Question

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Is it ethical to use sex to sell your product?

Asked by The_Compassionate_Heretic (14596points) April 21st, 2009

I think of GoDaddy.com with this question. They get their name out there better than any other domain hosting service. How many other domain hosting services can you name off the top of your head?
The marketing of big breasted women and Danica Patrick is effective, but it speaks nothing of their product.

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27 Answers

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

Ethical, naw but it’s a proven sales tool. You know there are things I can say in favor of GoDaddy.com but their choice of sex symbols to sell surely isn’t one of them. I always thought it was a bit too ‘road dog’. Is it ethical I’ve used sex to sell my services? I don’t think so but I was trained to it and it’s been proven to work best when not abused.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

It’s not ethical… but it sells.. so it will always be there.. money makes the world go round right?

ragingloli's avatar

It is effective and hurts no one. I would say it is neutral, neither ethical nor unethical.

FGS's avatar

Most all beer commercials sell sex appeal…Coors Light is a big one.

Facade's avatar

Beautiful people have always been a part of marketing strategies. I see nothing wrong with it. You’re not gonna put Plain Sue out there to sell stuff; it wouldn’t work.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

@FGS Sells beer yes, but is it ethical?

FGS's avatar

@The_Compassionate_Heretic Adults will buy what appeals to them, in that case (if shallow enough to be swayed) then yes, I don’t find issue with it, however; the Burger King commercial with the whole Sponge Bob square britches with the dancey girls with a brick in their knickers…that crosses the line. I see no reason why kids need to be exposed to that to push a fast food product.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

@FGS I find that commercial prejudicial to people with square asses.
It’s a medical condition us round assed people don’t yet understand.

Likeradar's avatar

I think it’s ethical.
The ones who can’t see through the sex in advertising and think that big boobs (or whatever) = a good product and just suckers.

FGS's avatar

@The_Compassionate_Heretic racism!! racism I tell you!!!

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

@FGS This sort of rampant assism can’t be tolerated in civilized society.

FGS's avatar

@The_Compassionate_Heretic Assism..the downfall of society looms…

DrBill's avatar

Ethics are in the mind of beholder. If you are offended, it is offencive. If you are not, then it is not.

asmonet's avatar

I’m with DrBill.

It’s up to the viewer, I don’t like watching sixteen sex filled commercials in a row, but I’m equally upset watching sixteen commercials in a row, period. No big.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

what’s really ethical these days?

when it comes down to it, anything that ever bothers ANYONE is considered wrong and immoral.

augustlan's avatar

I don’t think it’s unethical (as long as all participants are willing adults), just low-class.

TaoSan's avatar

I’m with boobs!

Ethics? Soooo 20th century!

dynamicduo's avatar

Hahahaha, businesses don’t care about ethics one bit, so long as you keep giving them your money. Even if they did, as @DrBill illustrates, it’s impossible to not offend someone, so why try.

Personally I can name many other domain registrars off the top of my head, and I also know that there are other ones out there beyond the massive sucky GoDaddy. That’s because I’m a web designer who deals with domains regularly. I am not GoDaddy’s target market though, that would be the people who watch the TV ads and who somehow think that a pair of big beautiful breasts somehow has anything to do with domain name quality.

drClaw's avatar

As long as the company isn’t being despicable and using sex to sell cigarettes to 6 year olds, then I am fine with it. I would only object if the advertisement in question was truly raunchy and clearly focused on an adolescent market.

As for GoDaddy if boobs sell domains then good for them.

Kelly27's avatar

Some of them I find to be unethical but mostly I just find them in really poor taste. People say all the time that our children are being exposed to sexuality and themselves being more sexual at younger and younger ages, where does the blame lie? When does society, media specifically, have an obligation to be more ethical?

3or4monsters's avatar

Sales and selling in advertizing is largely unethical whether they use sex (or fear, or emotional manipulation) to sell their product if it’s something the public simply does not need. The tactic is to use whatever means necessary (coercion and lying?) to convince people that they need the product so that they will part with their money.

I might be a little bit cynical.

I do not think the above applies when we are speaking of parting with money and dealing with salespeople for the things we DO need. Just the fripperies.

benjaminlevi's avatar

Not for funeral homes.

filmfann's avatar

I am shocked and stunned there isn’t more of an outcry against it. Did anyone else feel shocked Burger King did this?

augustlan's avatar

@filmfann I was just talking about that with my husband earlier tonight. Very distasteful when using a children’s character.

Facade's avatar

@filmfann I wasn’t shocked ,but it’s a damn shame. Kids are already oversexed without that garbage.

filmfann's avatar

Hmmm, maybe I will pose that as a question for fluther…

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Ethical I guess would be in the mind of the viewer. You can’t say people who would not be thinking of some huge sausage would not think about it at least a couple of times doing the day after this Carl’s Jr. ad

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