Taboo in Advertising

Elsa Simões Lucas Freitas | Fernando Pessoa University
ISBN 9789027254238 | EUR 95.00 | USD 143.00
ISBN 9789027290496 | EUR 95.00 | USD 143.00
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Taboos are much more than just a synonym of ‘forbidden’. Proof of the concept’s complexity can be found in the way ads often try to hide the taboo inherent to their products or, conversely, in the way certain taboo readings are foregrounded on purpose in other ads. This volume shows why and how that happens, using print and television ads to exemplify (a) the elaborate strategies used by ads for certain products to cleverly hide the taboo inherent to them, and (b) the deliberate recourse to taboo references in ads for products that do not present any taboo connotation. The linguistic analysis undertaken takes into account the different modes (verbal language, music, sound effects, moving and static images) that convey meaning in ads. Taboo is very often conveyed or disguised through one of the channels while the others play the opposite role, thus achieving a balance that prevents the ad from being too obscure to be understood or too daring for the general public to accept it. For this comprehensive approach, concepts are drawn from different disciplines: textual and semiotic analysis from linguistics, theories of taboo from anthropology, and background to advertising from media studies.
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series, 179] 2008.  xix, 214 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
“[...] there is [...] an awful lot of excellent analysis going on in this text, and it should constitute required reading for anyone interested in discourse analysis in any of the following subject areas: advertising, embarrassment, morality, multi-modality, offense, politeness, and, of course, taboo.”
“Like other powerful discourses, advertising brings the most intimate topics into the public domain. By examining its presentation of the taboo, Elsa Simões goes to the very heart of this genre which encapsulates the problems and tensions of our era. This fascinating book is one of the best studies of advertising I know.”
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Cited by 11 other publications

Beard, Virginia R. & William C. Burger
2020. Selling in a Dying Business: An Analysis of Trends During a Period of Major Market Transition in the Funeral Industry. OMEGA - Journal of Death and Dying 80:4  pp. 544 ff. DOI logo
Bhatia, Tej K.
2019. Emotions and language in advertising. World Englishes 38:3  pp. 435 ff. DOI logo
Duschinsky, Robbie & Donna Marie Brown
2015. Place and Defilement. Space and Culture 18:3  pp. 243 ff. DOI logo
Freitas, Elsa Simões Lucas
2016. Crude and Taboo Humour in Television Advertising: An Analysis of Commercials for Consumer Goods. In Taboo Comedy,  pp. 173 ff. DOI logo
Gavins, Joanna
2009. The year’s work in stylistics 2008. Language and Literature: International Journal of Stylistics 18:4  pp. 367 ff. DOI logo
Kama, Amit & Sigal Barak-Brandes
2013. Taming the shame: Policing excretions and body fluids in advertisements for hygiene products. European Journal of Cultural Studies 16:5  pp. 582 ff. DOI logo
Martin, Elizabeth
2019. Global marketing translation and localization for French‐speaking countries. World Englishes 38:3  pp. 366 ff. DOI logo
Rossolatos, George
2016. Holy Shit: On the Consumption of Oneself through Taboo Speech Acts. SSRN Electronic Journal DOI logo
Rossolatos, George
2017. Holy Shit: Taboo Speech Acts as Self-Consumption. Chinese Semiotic Studies 13:2  pp. 151 ff. DOI logo
Trondsen, J. & C. Boks
2022. Exploring the Role of Shame in Design Strategies. Proceedings of the Design Society 2  pp. 2233 ff. DOI logo

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Communication Studies

Communication Studies

Main BIC Subject

CFG: Semantics, Pragmatics, Discourse Analysis

Main BISAC Subject

LAN009000: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2008018018 | Marc record