This paper investigates three master tropes (viz.
simile, metaphor, and metonymy) in English magazine ads,
taking a semiotic topic-vehicle approach to identify and
analyze the three tropes. The purpose of the
investigation is twofold: to see (i) if the
topic-vehicle approach can account for the three tropes
in English magazine ads and (ii) if the three tropes
occur in independent phrases the same as they occur in
complete clauses. It is concluded that the semiotic
topic-vehicle approach, including the concept of complex
tropes derived from it, is generally applicable to the
three tropes in English magazine ads and that every type
and subtype of a trope assuming the form of a complete
clause can also take the form of an independent phrase.