Shock and awe : Does skin sell ?

Nowadays you need a bare bottom even if you're just trying to launch a handbag.

There seems to be just one thought behind ad after ad - no publicity is bad publicity. While some may actually love the eyecandy on offer, others would remember the campaign for being outrageous. In either case it's a win-win situation for the advertiser. It is the company, the brand and the product that ultimately grabs attention.

Prahlad Kakkar of Genesis Advertising has a message for those embarassed by increasingly graphic ads like Kamasutra condoms and the 7-up TV spot featuring a voluptuous bikini model.

According to him: "Nudity was always acceptable when you see the larger picture. For example in villages it is the way of life. It is certainly not a taboo for scores of villagers for whom it is a natural state of existence, especially in the tribal belt. It is a city-centric middle class syndrome to consider nudity a taboo subject.

"Moreover I think the perception of nudity is quite a subjective matter. If you don't like it, just close your eyes. After all, it might look beautiful to someone else. Why should a moral brigade police your thoughts, likes and dislikes ?"

However not everybody is willing to join in on Kakkar's spirited defence of nudity in advertising.

To be honest, I don't think nudity has much of a future in advertising. Maybe in an one-off case like Tuff shoes it succeeded. Maybe nudity can still work well with certain prodcuts like condoms where it appears both logical and seductive. But that doesn't mean you can use naked models to sell consumer goods. I don't think nudity will really catch on in the long-run," insist Sunil Shethi of Sunny Advertising.

What do you say ?