The Representations of Gay Families in Advertising: Consumer Responses to an Emergent Target Group

This paper investigates consumer responses to gay families portrayed in advertising, drawing on visual analysis, reader response analysis and queer theory. The results from twenty-five interviews showed that the ability to discover a family theme in ads is related to how consumers define ‘family;’ that attitude toward target ads influences attitude toward the advertiser, and that interpretive frame affects overall evaluation of advertising imagery. Marketing communications work as representational systems and signifying practices that reflect, create and resolve cultural tensions of identity, sexuality and intersubjectivity, making representations of gay families in advertising crucial sites of negotiation in consumer culture.


Janet Borgerson, Britta Isla, Jonathan Schroeder, and Erika Thorssen (2005) ,"The Representations of Gay Families in Advertising: Consumer Responses to an Emergent Target Group", in E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 7, eds. Karin M. Ekstrom and Helene Brembeck, Goteborg, Sweden : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 143-152.


Janet Borgerson, University of Exeter
Britta Isla, Stockholm University
Jonathan Schroeder, University of Exeter
Erika Thorssen, Stockholm University


E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 7 | 2005

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