Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Sexy Las Vegas ads too much for locals

Imagine your kids seeing billboards like this every morning on their way to school. Images like the one on the left for Studio 54 were the genesis for one viewer, and UNLV professor, to write about them in the latest issue of Journal of Promotion Management.

Erika Engstrom, a professor in UNLV's Greenspun College, describes in her article a few of the sexually provocative billboards promoting Las Vegas clubs and casinos. Some of those ads for the Hard Rock Casino feature barely clad models and unmistakable double endendre. For example, one billboard features a pair of panties lowered around a woman's calves. The headline reads: "Get ready to buck all night."

Another Hard Rock casino billboard features two women in a tight embrace and the headline: "Looser than your girlfriend. Play slots at Hardrock Casino." Engstrom describes how in 2004 several complaints from the community prompted the Nevada Gaming Commission to fine Hard Rock over $100,000 for the sexually provocative ads.

"What happens here, stays here," but for the million or so citizens not on mission to create memories or directly involved in the gaming and entertainment industries, blatant sex in advertising--especially when it's on a billboard for many to see--can cross the line. Certainly this is true in most American cities, but Las Vegas is a place where tourism (33 million people visit Vegas each year) and good taste can collide. Check out Erika's article in JPM.

Erika Engstrom (2007), "Selling with Sex in Sin City: The Case of the Hard Rock Hotel Casino," Journal of Promotion Management, 13 (1/2), 169-188.

1 comment:

Tee said...

Thank you for exposing the media for what they really are. Too many people have become blind to the manipulation that is caused by the constant barrage of sexual content.