This chapter examines the limitations of Western luxury advertising to engage affluent consumers in the People’s Republic of China. It is based on a theory of brand literacy drawn from a theory of language acquisition. The chapter illustrates how semiotics, a social science discipline devoted to the study of signs and meanings in cultural perspective, can be used to identify the cultural tensions between consumers and brands in emerging markets and provide direction for correcting the problem. It reviews the basics of brand equity, illustrate the role of marketing communication for brand strategy, and outline some of the challenges facing Western companies as they target consumers in developing consumer societies such as China. The chapter presents a case in which marketing semiotics research in Shanghai exposed differences between the ways Chinese and European consumers perceive luxury and luxury advertising.