The diversity of ethnic minorities in many technologically advanced countries is increasing, and the actual number of people in each group is growing. However, marketers in different countries are responding at different paces to the cosmopolitan composition of their societies. By international standards, Australian advertisers have been slow to recognize the communication challenges and opportunities of a modem multicultural society. Representations of non Anglo-Saxon groups in Australian advertising are often based on distorted and inaccurate stereotypes. One possible repercussion of such distorted representations is that Australian audiences may form an inaccurate view of specific cultural groups. To test the effects of distorted representations of ethnicity on consumer attitudes, an experiment using pre and post-treatment questionnaires was conducted. Two television advertisements were selected, each featuring a specific ethnic group. Following the completion of a pre-test questionnaire to ascertain perceptions on that cultural minority, one advertisement was shown to each group. A post-treatment questionnaire was then administered. Results confirm that both advertisements had a significant and negative impact on attitudes towards the ethnic group in question.
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- Distorted Representations of Ethnic Minorities in Consumer Advertising: Effects and Consequences
Michael T. Ewing
Nigel M. de Bussy