This study investigates the effect of culturally incongruent messages in international advertising on consumer responses. The results of an experiment suggest that the type of cultural values (terminal vs instrumental) and ethnic background of models (foreign vs local) significantly moderate the effect of message congruency on attitude towards the advertisement, and such effect is mediated by the number of counter-arguments. Thus, culturally incongruent messages can be effective if they avoid conflict on a fundamental value or are positioned as originating from a foreign culture. Moreover, model background moderates the effect of message congruency on brand attitude and buying intention. These findings have meaningful implications for international marketing across societies of different cultural traditions.