CALVIN KLEIN'S "KIDDIE PORN" CAMPAIGN, WHAT'S THE FUSS?
A Q-sort of student attitudes toward objectionable advertising.
Robert L. Gustafson, Assistant Professor
Mark N. Popovich, Professor
Department of Journalism
College of Communication, Information, and Media
Ball State University
Muncie, IN 47306
[log in to unmask]
Johan C. Yssel, Assistant Professor
Department of Journalism
School of Communication
The University of Southern Mississippi
Hattiesburg, MS 39406-5027
The authors wish to thank Nicholas Paulenich, a graduate student
at Ball State University, for his assistance.
Please address all inquiries to Robert Gustafson
Submitted to: Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication
Advertising Division, Professional Freedom & Responsibility
1997 Conference-Chicago, IL
The 1995 CK Jeans' campaign created an unprecedented furor among parents, media
companies and advertising practitioners over Calvin Klein's portrayal of
child-like models in sexually provocative settings. In addition to consumer and
media boycotts, the Federal Bureau of Investigation explored possible violations
of child pornography laws.
This study employs a Q-sort methodology and personal interviews to investigate
how college students, a segment of the CK Jeans' target audience, view the CK
Jeans' campaign in comparison to other recent objectionable advertising
campaigns. It also questions the ethicality of using shock techniques and sexual
themes in advertising.
The furor caused by Calvin Klein's 1995 CK Jeans' campaign, featuring
child-like models in sexually provocative settings, is unrivaled in American
advertising history. Led by professional moralist Rev. Donald Wildmon (American
Family Association), the public's outcry resulted in Klein and his in-house
agency, CRK, being investigated by the FBI for violating child pornography laws.
(Later, the Justice Department found no evidence of wrongdoing.) Reverend
Wildmon was joined by a large public who threatened to picket department stores
where CK Jeans were sold, politicians who called for a boycott of Klein's
products, and retailers who refused to stock Klein's jeans. In the same week
(September 11, 1995), both Time magazine and Newsweek ran articles condemning
the CK Jeans' advertising campaign.
Michael Antebi, a creative with more than 17 years of advertising experience in
New York said, "Just when you think advertising has scraped the bottom of the
barrel of indecency, they lower the bottom" ("Reaction," 1995). Fred Danzig,
contributing editor for Advertising Age, added, "Klein will be cleared of
breaking child pornography laws, but his display of insular stupidity renders
him guilty of violating whatever is left of advertising's public decency
standards" ("Sidebars," 1995). Bob Garfield, ad critic for Advertising Age,
commented, "...to portray children as sex toys parading before adults is the
line that cannot be crossed. It is plainly repulsive, and if the out-of-control
monster should destroy its shrinking master, there will be no wails of grief
heard from here." ("Publicity Monsters," 1995). Lastly, Margaret Carlson,
reporting for Time magazine, concluded, "Even the liberal baby boomers, who
thought drive-by sex and drugs were fine for them but want limits for their
offspring, believe there's such a thing as going too far when kids are involved
("Where Calvin Crossed," 1995).
Advertising's visibility and persuasive objectives make it vulnerable to public
criticism, but criticism of the CK Jeans' campaign was also voiced loudly by the
media and advertising practitioners. Antebi added to his scathing attack on
Klein, "Unless we clean up our act soon, we may be surprised by the explosion of
the public's seething resentment. If we don't do it ourselves, the size and
reaction of the next big movement to controlling and limiting advertising will
put the large environmentalist groups of today to shame." ("Reaction," 1995)
What consumers, and critics, tend to lose track of is that Klein has become a
master of obtaining free publicity through his "shock" advertising tactics. He
and other marketers have learned that with a small amount of the right kind of
noise, the media will deliver millions of dollars' worth of free publicity.
While Klein was forced to cancel the CK Jeans' campaign not long after it was
first aired, it was still a huge sales success. Sales of CK Jeans rose to $462
million in 1995 up from $113 million in 1994 ("Real People," 1996).
Klein's CK Jeans' campaign created a great deal of controversy among parents,
the media, and advertising practitioners themselves. This paper uses
Q-methodology to explore how college students, a segment of CK Jeans overall
target market, view the CK Jeans' campaign. Specific research questions examined
in this study were as follows:
Does the CK target audience consider the CK Jeans' advertisements any more or
less objectionable than other controversial campaigns run in the past
Are any of these objectionable campaigns considered unethical by students?
Do objectionable advertisements have an adverse effect on purchase interest?
This paper also discusses the issues and risks faced by advertisers and the
industry in using "shock" advertising that may be objectionable or offensive to
Clearly there are some very definite benefits to understanding consumer views
about ethics in advertising. As Wallace Snyder, president of the American
Advertising Federation, noted, "The benefits of high ethical standards for our
profession are: 1) We increase our credibility in government and regulatory
bodies, thus making sure we can operate in the least restrictive environment
possible. 2) We increase our credibility among consumers, which makes our
advertising more effective. 3) We increase the value of advertising as a career,
thereby attracting the best and brightest of our young people."(fn)
Advertising's high visibility and persuasive objectives make it vulnerable to
public criticism. An Opinion Research Survey in 1989 found that approximately 80
percent of the respondents felt that advertising was a "deceptive persuader."
("For more consumers," 1990) While advertisers face extensive regulation, not
every issue is covered by a clear, written rule. Many issues are left to the
discretion of the advertiser, and many decisions touch on ethical concerns such
y exaggerated claims (using puffery or unfair comparisons)
y stereotypes (inappropriately portraying women, minorities, etc.)
y unpopular products (advertising cigarettes, alcohol, birth control, etc.)
y political, religious and social messages
y nudity, sexual explicitness and suggestiveness
y selecting target audiences (children, teenagers, minorities, etc.)
An advertiser can act unethically and not break any laws. Ethical advertising
means doing what is good and morally right for a given situation. Simply stated,
there are two kinds of ethical issues that advertisers must consider. An ethical
dilemma occurs when there are two or more conflicting, but valid sides to an
issue. Advertisers must resolve which decision will produce the most good for
the greatest number of people and whether anyone's rights may be violated. Ads
that some consumers believe are morally wrong and thus they find them
objectionable and offensive create an ethical dilemma. An ethical lapse is when
an advertiser makes a clearly unethical, and sometimes illegal, decision (Arens,
1994). Lapses may involve issues such as false or misleading claims, bait and
switch promotions and rigged demonstrations. The exploitation of children
represents serious ethical lapses.
When people complain about advertising, they usually complain about particular
ads or campaigns they find annoying or offensive (Bauer, 1968). There is growing
evidence that consumers find advertising that uses shock tactics and sexual
explicitness to be offensive and objectionable (Judd & Alexander, 1983; Burke &
Edell, 1989; Yssel, 1993; Gustafson, 1995). Yet, advertisers continue their
usage even though there is evidence that indicates advertising that generates
negative attitudes can adversely affect attitudes toward a brand and reduce its
sales (Burke & Edell, 1989; Walsh, 1994).
Soley and Kurzbard (1986) found that sexual illustrations have become much more
overt over a 20-year period. Apparently, marketers ignore Alexander & Judd's
(1978) findings that nudity in advertising did not enhance brand recall and Judd
and Alexander's (1983) report that the use of indiscriminate sexual appeals can
reduce a product's appeal. These findings support Steadman's (1969) research
that concluded nonsexual illustrations were more effective that sexual ones in
achieving brand recall. Severn and Belch (1990) examined the communication
effectiveness of visually explicit sexual stimuli and reported that the ability
to recall a brand name appeared to be more a function of the information level
of the ad than of its sexual explicitness.
Barnes and Dotson (1990) found that a person's perception of "offensiveness" in
television commercials is a function of the product itself and the execution of
the commercial. They noted that while some consumers may understand that it may
be more difficult to make advertisements non-offensive for some types of
products, they might not agree with the advertiser's solution. Burke and Edell
(1989) found that feelings generated by advertisements were linked to consumers'
evaluations of brands. Asker and Bruzzone (1985) identified a number of factors
that cause irritation in advertising. These factors include sensitivities toward
the product, its use, and the advertising execution.
Who is offended the most when advertising employs sex to sell? In a survey for
American Demographics (1994), Walsh reports women are most likely to take
offense, but many men are also offended. Further, middle-aged women most often
avoid products that employ tasteless advertising.
Yssel, et al., (1993) concluded that advertisements found to be objectionable
by senior advertising students most often involved nudity and sexual
suggestiveness. Gustafson, Yssel and Popovich (1994) identified some
similarities and differences between Baby Boomer and Generation X views of
objectionable advertising. They categorized four main "most objectionable"
forms of advertising: sexual explicitness, degradation of women, political and
social issues. Another study (Gustafson, et al., 1995), found that 73 percent
of advertisements ranked "most objectionable" by Baby Boomers and 79 percent
ranked the same way by Generation X were perceived to the unethical.
Specifically concerning the CK Jeans' campaign, a survey conducted by American
Advertising Magazine (1995) found: 60 percent of the respondents felt the media
should not have run the CK Jeans' campaign, and 66 percent felt Klein was not
justified in using sex to sell jeans. However, 47 percent of respondents
approved of using sex to sell products, but only if children were not involved.
Findings from another study of 202 advertising agency practitioners in Chicago
indicated that practitioners tend to take a positive, almost defensive, stance
on advertising's economic and societal roles. While practitioners were generally
nuetral on the use of nudity and sexual suggestiveness in advertising, they
deemed the CK Jeans' campaign too offensive and in bad taste, but not
necessarily unethical (Gustafson, et al., 1996).
As part of several class assignments, over a three-year period, students were
asked to submit magazine advertisements that they found objectionable or
offensive for any reason. The researchers selected 35 of the students'
advertisements representative of six potentially objectionable categories:
exaggerated claims, stereotypes, controversial products, political messages,
nudity/sexual suggestiveness, targeting teenagers. They then added five
examples of the 1995 Calvin Klein Jeans' "Kiddie Porn" campaign to create a
Q-sort concourse. A personal interview was conducted following each sort to
better understand the respondent's ranking and thoughts concerning ethicality.
Each sort/interview took approximately one hour to complete.
The 39 students were drawn from two large general studies classes at a large
midwestern university. The sample was comprised of 18 males and 21 females
between the ages of 18- to 26- years old. Nearly three-fourths of the students
were under 21 years of age. The respondents reported their religion as:
Catholic (13), Baptist (3), Christian (17) and six other denominations.
Political preference was equally split Democrat and Republican.
Q-sort is a behavioral research technique which was introduced by William
Stephenson (1953). This technique allows investigators to quantify subjectivity.
Each subject in the study was asked to rank order each advertisement by placing
it on a nine-point bipolar continuum ranging from most objectionable (+4) to
least objectionable (-4). While each Q-sort reflects each subject's own
point-of-view regarding objectionable advertising, Q-sort rankings are
subsequently subjected to factor analysis which provides clusters of perceptions
provided by each subject. Investigators are most interested in the clusters or
patterns of behavior which arise from the sorts, because those patterns present
perspectives that are internal in nature, i.e., from the subject's standpoint.
In contrast, R-factor analysis provides perspectives which are external in
nature, i.e., from an observer's standpoint. And since Q-methodology does not
require large numbers of subjects, the investigators are content to talk about
typical patterns, or models, of behavior found among college students rather
than with what might be considered the average college student's opinion
concerning objectionable advertising. In dealing with subjectivity, there are no
right or wrong answers, "since there is no outside criteria for a person's own
point-of-view" (Brown, 1980).
Responses were computer tabulated at the authors' university using the QMETHOD
factor analysis program (Atkinson, 1992). One of the benefits of the QMETHOD
program is its flexibility which allows investigators, if they wish, to compare
and contrast hand rotated factors with computer generated factors. In order to
determine if factors should be retained in the solution, at least two of the
factor loadings, or person correlations, on each factor must be significant at
the .01 level. Factor loadings in this study were considered significant if they
exceeded .408. This significant correlation was calculated from a formula for
the standard error of a zero-order loading, which is explained in Brown (1980).
QMETHOD also provided a descending array of advertisements and normalized
z-scores on significant factors for all 40 advertisements. Scores above and
below a z-score criterion of 1.0 for each factor were considered significant.
Initially in this study, factor rotations indicated that a two-factor solution
might be appropriate for interpretation. Upon examination, however,
investigators found a correlation between each factor of .666, which made it
difficult to identify distinguishing characteristics between each factor. The
investigators opted instead to accept a one-factor solution because it presented
a clearer picture of how these Generation-X subjects rated Calvin Klein's
"kiddie porn" ads.
Upon analyzing the one factor solution from the 39 sorts, it was clear that
students had identified eight of the 40 advertisements as most objectionable
(i.e., all eight ads had a z-score of 1.0 or higher). Most of the most
objectionable ads featured nudity or sexual suggestiveness, while one dealt with
a political message (Benetton). None of them fell into the other three
potentially objectionable categories: exaggerated claims, stereotypes, or
controversial products (See Table 1).
Only one "kiddie porn" CK Jeans' advertisement, featuring a young male wearing
underpants and an open shirt laying with legs spread on the floor, ranked among
the most objectionable selections. A campaign for Wilke Rodriquez clothing that
featured sexually explicit encounters had three ads ranked among the eight ads
most objectionable. Three other objectionable selections included a older CK
underwear ad featuring Marky Mark grabbing his crotch and ads for
Cafe Luxembourg and Cafe Tabac with several naked women or women kissing,
Table 1: Most Objectionable Ads with Significant z-scores
No. Advertisement z-score
14 Wilke Rodriquez--man with face in woman's crotch, breast partly
16 Wilke Rodriquez--couple on roof top simulating intercourse 1.371
21 Wilke Rodriquez--couple on roof top in heavy necking situation,
39 CK Jeans--young male in underpants, open shirt, laying on floor 1.206
31 Cafe Tabac--Two women kissing passionately 1.148
7 CK Underwear--Marky Mark grabbing crotch 1.110
27 Cafe Luxembourg--naked, overweight women photographed from behind 1.061
24 Benetton--Family gathered around dying Aids patient 1.036
Some of the students' comments concerning why they found the advertisements
noted above as the most objectionable follow:
y "Far too sexually explicit"
y "The suggestive scenes could increase rape"
y "Don't understand how this sells the product"
y "Looks like pornography"
y "No idea what they're selling"
y "Too explicit for kids to see"
y "Very vulgar, obscene and offensive"
y "Not an art form, just gross"
y "It's morally wrong to behave that way"
y "Because its relationship to religion is wrong"
Of the 40 advertisements, students identified five as the least objectionable.
Interestingly, three of the five represent controversial products (See Table 2).
Two ads for cigarettes, Kool and Camel were not considered objectionable. The
respondents stated that there is nothing wrong with advertising tobacco to
adults. While smoking is bad for you, it is a personal choice. Some students,
however, pointed out that they are opposed to the Joe Camel ads targeting
teenagers and how the Kool execution with a "sexy" female model glamorizes
smoking. An ad for Trojan condoms was also not found to be objectionable. The
respondents expressed that there is nothing wrong with promoting safe sex or
birth control. Another ad featured body builders and the Benetton ad selected
dealt with a burning automobile. Students did not find the content of these two
ads to be offensive.
Table 2: Least Objectionable Ads with Significant z-scores
No. Advertisement z-score
29 Kool Cigarettes--Clothed "sexy" female, legs spread apart -2.128
28 Camel Lights--Joe Camel -1.980
32 Trojan Condoms--male model on sail board -1.830
26 Benetton--Burning car -1.272
33 Integrated--Muscular man holding well-built woman -1.241
Some additional comments that students offered about ranking the advertisements
y "Smoking is not offensive"
y "Nothing wrong with advertising cigarettes to adults"
y "It's okay to advertise a legal product"
y "Condoms have become a way of life"
y "Using fully clothed teenagers as models is all right"
"Kiddie Porn" Ads
Of the five Calvin Klein ads which utilized young males and females, only one
of the five was considered to be objectionable by the students in this study
(See Table 3). The other four ads were not rated strongly by students either
one way or the other. Typical student's comments, although not in a majority of
opinions expressed, concerning the Calvin Klein Jeans' campaign were as follows:
y "I think it is being received as artistic by teenagers."
y " I can see why some people would have problems with this." (children in
y "I don't think you need to show naked bodies to sell CK products."
y "They can do whatever they want with advertising, it is the company's
y "Not a bad scene. This scene could be seen in a cruise brochure."
y "Calvin Klein ads turn me off to the product. I think they are raunchy and
Table 3: "Kiddie Porn" Ads with z-scores
No. Advertisement z-score
36 CK--Clothed female model wearing tight jeans and black top -0.68
37 CK--Clothed female model wearing tight tank top -0.98
38 CK--Half clothed male model wearing only underwear 0.64
39 CK--Poster. Young male in underpants, open shirt, laying on floor 1.21
40 CK--Poster. Three pictures: two females and one male model 0.90
Ethical Perceptions and Purchase Interest
Following the Q-sorts, respondents were asked if they considered the
advertisements they just ranked, "ethical" or "unethical." They were also asked
if an objectionable advertisement would stop them from buying the sponsoring
brand. There appears to be a correlation between the degree of objectionableness
and perceived ethicalness in advertising. The findings indicate that 72 percent
of the ads identified as most objectionable were believed to be unethical. None
of the least objectionable ads were considered unethical. Furthermore, 25
percent of the students stated that they would not buy a brand featured in an
advertisement that they found objectionable. The Benetton campaign was singled
out as one that reduced students' interest in buying the brand. They felt
Benetton was exploiting social issues and human misery in order to sell its
Following are some respondents' comments on why objectionable advertisements
were considered unethical:
y "could jeopardize the safety of women"
y "wrong to degrade women"
y "companies should not profit this way"
y "no need to show people this way to sell products"
y "the behavior shown in the ads is morally wrong"
y "could harm younger kids to see"
y "wrong to shock people just to get attention"
The findings of this Q study and related personal interviews concur with a
number of previous findings: Consumers find advertising that uses "shock
tactics" including nudity and sexual explicitness to be offensive and
objectionable (Judd & Alexander, 1983; Burke & Edell, 1989; Yssel, 1993;
Gustafson, 1995); Advertising that generates negative attitudes can adversely
affect attitudes toward the sponsoring brand and reduce its sales (Burke &
Edell, 1989; Walsh, 1994); The indiscriminate use of sexual appeals in
advertising can reduce a product's appeal (Alexander & Judd, 1983). Further,
these findings indicate that a large proportion, nearly three-fourths, of the
advertisements deemed most objectionable are considered to be unethical because
of their potential harm to certain publics.
Why do advertisers persist in using shock techniques and running such
controversial and objectionable campaigns even though there are potential risks?
In the case of CK Jeans' "Kiddie Porn" campaign, it may be a wisely calculated
risk/reward assessment that the right kind of controversy and publicity can
sell. To wit, CK Jeans' sales increased 309 percent as a result of the
While the CK Jeans' campaign created an unprecedented furor among parents,
media companies and advertising practitioners, this study suggests college
students, members of the CK target audience, were probably wondering what the
fuss was all about. More than likely, Klein's market research of risk/reward
assessment was more finely tuned to understanding its target market than most
The Q-sorts and personal interviews revealed which advertising campaigns the
students found most objectionable, and only two Calvin Klein advertisements were
rated as most objectionable. One of the ads came from an earlier CK underwear
campaign and the second was one of the "kiddie porn" ads. Students in this study
believed that the CK Jeans' illustrations were tame by comparison to other
campaigns and that their messages would be appropriately interpreted by the
Students found nearly three-fourths of the most objectionable ads to be
unethical. And 25 percent of the students stated that they would not buy a brand
featured in an ad that they found objectionable. Conversely, 75 percent of the
students said if they liked a brand they would buy it
even though its advertising is offensive or objectionable. Not a bad risk for
some advertisers to consider.
But, is the practice of "shock techniques" in advertising appropriate? Many
parents believe it may be injurious to children. Many practitioners believe it
may hurt the industry. And the industry believes it may lead to more regulation.
Is it acceptable for an advertiser to run a campaign that is so shocking that
many individuals consider it objectionable and, even, unethical? In the case of
the CK Jeans' campaign a large part of the controversy centered on whether it
violated child pornography laws and whether it could be protected by the First
Amendment? When the FBI dropped the case because it could not prove any of the
models appearing in the ads were under 18 years of age, the controversy faded
from the public's eye. "The Klein case makes clear that advertisers probably can
use teenagers' sexuality to sell a product--the question is, should they?"
The need for improved industry-wide standards for self-regulation has never
been greater. Today, the liquor industry is reconsidering its 46-year-old
voluntary ban on broadcast advertising, the tobacco industry is continuing to
defend itself from increased regulation, and the concern for protecting children
and adolescents from advertising is growing. The advertising industry needs to
be just as concerned about its social esteem as it is about its selling
effectiveness. In the long run, the two are related.
Alexander, M.W. & Judd, B. Jr. (1978), "Do nudes in ads enhance brand recall?"
Journal of Advertising Research 18, pp. 47-50.
Alexander, M.W. & Judd, B. Jr. (1986), "Differences in attitudes toward nudity
in advertising," Psychology, A Quarterly Journal of Human Behavior 23 (1),
Arens, W. & Bevy, C. (1994), Contemporary Advertising, Burr Ridge, IL: Irwin, p.
Atkinson, John (1992), QMETHOD, a public domain software program available for
CAMS or VAX installations, which can be obtained on disk or by e-mail from
Academic Computer Services, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio.
Baker, M.J. & Churchill, G.A. Jr. (1997, November), "The impact of physically
attractive models on advertising evaluations," Journal of Marketing Research 14
Barnes, J.J. Jr. & Dotson, M.J. (1990, summer), "An exploratory investigation
into the nature of offensive television advertising," Journal of Advertising 19
Bauer, R. & Greyser, S. (1968), Advertising in America: The Consumer View,
Boston, MA: Harvard University Press, p.176.
Brown, S. R. (1980), Political subjectivity: Applications of Q-methodology in
political science, New Haven: Yale University Press, p.175.
Burke, M.C. & Edell, J.A. (1989), "The impact of feelings on ad-based affect and
cognition," Journal of Marketing Research 26, pp.69-83.
Cunningham, A. (1996), "Calvin Klein Unzipped: A look at the morality of selling
teen sexuality." Paper presented at the Association for Education in Journalism
and Mass Communication conference, Anaheim, CA.
Dunn, W. (1993), The Baby Bust: A Generation comes of Age, Ithaca, NY: American
Demographic Books, p.11.
Ferguson, J.H., Kreshel, P.J. & Thinkham, S.F. (1990), "In the pages of MS: Sex
role portrayals of women in advertising," Journal of Advertising 19 (1),
Gustafson, R., Yssel, J. & Witta, E. (1997), "Advertising Practitioners'
Attitudes Toward Their Trade." Paper presented to the American Academy of
Advertising conference, St. Louis, MO.
Gustafson, R., Yssel, J. & Popovich, M. (1995), "A Q-sort Comparison of
Generation X and Baby Boomers' Perceptions Toward Objectionable Advertising and
Ethics ." Paper presented at the International Academy of Business Disciplines'
conference, Redondo Beach, CA.
Judd, B.J. Jr. & Alexander, W.A. (1983, spring), "On the reduced effectiveness
of some sexually suggestive ads," Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 11
Reid, L.N. & Soley, L.C. (1983, April), "Decorative models and the readership of
magazine ads," Journal of Advertising Research 23 (2), pp.27-32.
Richmond, D. & Hartman, T.P. (1982, October), "Sex appeal in advertising,"
Journal of Advertising Research 22 (5), pp.53-61.
Severn, J., & Belch, G.E. (1990), "The effects of sexual and non-sexual
advertising appeals and information level on cognitive processing and
communication effectiveness," Journal of Advertising 19 (1), pp.14-22.
Soley, L. & Reid, L. (1985, spring), "Baiting viewers: violence and sex in
television program advertisements," Journalism Quarterly 62 (1), pp.105-110.
Soley, L. & Kurzbard (1986), "Sex in advertising: a comparison of 1964 and 1984
magazine advertisements," Journal of Advertising 15 (3), pp. 46-64.
Soley, L. & Reid, L. (1988), "Taking it off: are models in magazine ads wearing
less?" Journalism Quarterly (winter), pp.960-966.
Steadman, M. (1969), "How sexy illustrations affect brand recall," Journal of
Advertising Research 9 (1), pp.15-19.
Stephenson, W. (1953), The Study of Behavior: Chicago, IL: University of Chicago
Sullivan, A. (1988, January), "Flogging underwear: The new raunchiness of
American advertising," New Republic (3) pp.20-24.
Yssel, J., Gustafson, R., Popovich, M. & Woodley, B. (1993), "Generation X and
Objectionable Advertising: A Q-sort of students' attitudes toward objectionable
advertising." Paper presented at the Association for Education in Journalism and
Mass Communication conference, Kansas City, MO.
"AAF Readers Speak Out: The Calvin Verdict," The American Advertising Federation
Magazine, winter, 1995-96, p.32.
"Calvin's World,"Newsweek, September 11, 1995, pp.60-66.
"For more consumers advertising is the deceptive persuader," Adweek's Marketing
Week, March 5, 1990, p.4.
"Protest comes between media and their Calvins," Advertising Age, November 24,
"Poll Suggests TV Advertisers can't Ignore Matters of Taste," The Wall Street
Journal, July, 23, 1981.
"Publicity monster turns of Klein," Advertising Age, September 4, 1995, p.18.
"Reaction to distasteful ads endangers all of advertising," Advertising Age,
February 13, 1995.
"Real people suit Calvin Klein in CK Be jeans and boxer ads," Advertising Age,
August 8, 1996, p.3.
"Sidebars," Advertising Age, October 2, 1995, p.24.
"Teen wavelength tough to tune into," USA Today, September 4, 1996, p.1b.
"What's it all about Calvin?" Time Magazine, September 23, 1991, p.44.
"Where Calvin crossed the line," Time Magazine, September 11, 1995, p.64.
Ad descriptions and typal z-scores for Factor 1
Ad Descriptions Factor
1 Yes Clothing--Man, hand underneath woman's exposed breast putting cherry in
her mouth -0.581 2 Whooz Blooz Jeans--Two high school kids in front of wall, his
hand on her rear -0.921 3 Calvin Klein--Couple in bathing costumes on top of
each other on beach, kissing (Escape) -0.480
4 Calvin Klein--Naked male torso (Obsession) 0.188 5 Calvin Klein--Naked
woman draped over naked man's shoulder 0.782 6 Calvin Klein--Naked man and
woman on swing 0.719
7 Calvin Klein--Marky Mark grabbing crotch (underwear) 1.110
8 Calvin Klein--Marky Mark and woman model, naked torsos 0.178
9 Calvin Klein Jeans--Faceless bodies, female removing belt from male's undone
jeans 0.006 10 Calvin Klein--Double page. LHS topless model, breast exposed;
RHS model, shirt on 0.589
11 Guess Jeans--Close up of well-endowed woman with cleavage showing -0.701
12 Guess Jeans--Marilyn Monroe look alike with cleavage
apparent -0.468 13 Request Jeans--Woman sitting on bed undressing, jeans half
way off 0.523 14 Wilke-Rodriguez--Man with face in woman's crotch, breast
partly exposed 2.114 15 Request Jeans--Couple kissing on bed
0.348 16 Wilke-Rodriguez--Fully-clothed couple on roof top simulating
intercourse 1.371 17 Adam's Boots--Woman licking shiny floor, breast more
exposed than in #18 0.474
18 Adam's Boots--Woman licking shiny floor 0.220 19 Benetton --Electric
chair -0.179 20 Request Jeans--Model on fence, legs spread, breasts partly
exposed -0.966 21 Wilke-Rodriguez--Couple on roof top in heavy necking
situation 1.245 22 Request Jeans--Man who has just finished
urinating -0.109 23 Gap--Female model grabbing
crotch -0.753 24 Benetton --Family gathered around death bed of AIDS patient
resembling Christ figure 1.036 25 Benetton--Albino in foreground against
African tribe in background 0.269
26 Benetton--Burning car -1.272 27 Cafe Luxembourg--Naked, overweight women
photographed from behind 1.061 28 Camel Lights--Joe
Camel -1.980 29 Kool Cigarettes--Clothed model, standing with legs
apart -2.128 30 Banana Republic--Two men with hands around each other's neck
and chest 0.567
31 Cafe Tabac--Two women kissing passionately 1.148 32 Trojan Condoms--Male
model surfing -1.830 33 Integrated--Muscular man holding well-built
woman -1.241 34 Gyne-Moistrin--Classic painting of nude model painted from
behind -0.836 35 K-Y Jelly--Silhouette of naked woman -0.592
36 CK--Clothed female wearing tight jeans and black spandex top 0.676
37 CK--Clothed female wearing tight tank top -0.975
38 CK--Half-clothed male model wearing only underwear and sleeveless top
39 CK--Poster. Young male in underpants, open shirt, laying on floor 1.206