Shocking, offensive and controversial advertising: A systematic review

Kristina Auxtova, Mary Brennan

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


Existing research in the field of shocking, controversial and offensive advertising has identified a plethora of concepts and tensions in the use of language, as well as certain inconsistencies and contradictions in both the methods used and results obtained. In response, this systematic review presents an authoritative and comprehensive synthesis of all the disparate strands of academic research which have explored shocking, controversial and offensive advertising. Its intention is to help academics, practitioners and policy makers navigate and make sense of the nature, extent and effects of, and audience response to, the use of advertising appeals that are perceived as shocking, offensive or controversial. By applying scientific and replicable methods to reviewing the available peer reviewed academic literature, 146 journal articles were identified and analysed. Our findings encourage methodological and sectorial diversification and innovation and point to gaps in existing research.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventEMAC - Oslo, Norway
Duration: 24 May 201627 May 2016




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