Purpose: Drawing on the anthropological literature, this paper aims to develop a model of taboos (morality) that applies to the marketing, consumer behaviour and consumption contexts.
Design/methodology/approach: The paper is mainly conceptual but illustrates the general premises of the model with a case study of “dark” tourism and the contemporary marketing of the Auschwitz concentration camp.
Findings: The paper shows that even extreme taboos can be commodified and traded-off, and that not even the horrific deaths and large-scale suffering that occurred at Auschwitz are “sacred”. This can occur through reframing and seeing the same taboo through different national lens.
Research limitations/implications: Questions pertaining to consumer morality are relative rather than universalistic, and even the most extreme cases of taboo can still be successfully marketed.
Originality/value: The paper is among the first to attempt to conceptually design a model and then explain the taboo process as it applies to a marketing and consumption context.