BEAUTIES IN BIKINIS OR HOW DO WE CHOOSE OUR HOLIDAYS?

Ashley Nault - Mar 2, 2009
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The fight for tourists among the travel agencies is fierce these days. Using any advertising tool to attract customers appears to be the priority – but the sexual implicitness and frequent use of female body seem to go too far.The travel industry has been a major force for the economies of many countries. The times when tourists would follow the lead of an umbrella are gone and the diversity of activities sought out by the tourists is what makes a difference. Travel agents are very well aware that their success is directly associated with their advertising tactics. What kind of campaign to use when trying to attract potential customers is a key approach. Recently, critical voices have been trying to point out that the sexual context in many ads is too strong and frequent. The overuse of the female body is simply unacceptable for many. Professor Annette Pritchard of the University of Wales Institute believes the industry “sexualizes and objectifies” women. She explains that this may be explained by a still very high number of men in leading positions within the advertising industry.On the other hand, the spokeswoman for the Association of British Agents opposes Pritchard’s opinion; travel industry involves selling holidays – when presenting an ad for a luxurious hotel in the Caribbean featuring crystal clear pools, the necessity of picturing people in their bikinis and swim trunks is natural. Furthermore, stats show that the majority of decision makers regarding holidays in the UK are women – clearly, they do not wish to see bear naked ladies on the agency brochures. The truth remains that advertisements featuring female bodies are very frequent. On the other hand, research shows that no matter how provocative a picture is, it needs to be tasteful to retain its advertising potential. The discussion is wide open and is very unlikely to come to an end. Advertising industry is a giant constantly on the move to improve its tactics and traps.

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