Beyond sophistication: dimensions of advertising literacy

In the spirit of the IPA's bridge-building initiatives between industry and academia, we argue that academics can enhance practitioners' current understanding of consumers' advertising literacy. Reviewing language and literacy theories, we suggest that this offers fresh avenues for exploring consumers' relationships with ads and advertising. We report on a study exploring young adults' advertising literacy and identify three dimensions of consumers' advertising literacy, each of which implies a different relationship between audience and ads. Finally, we discuss the implications of advertising literacy for the ways in which ads are researched, developed and consumed.