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Promotional Advertising - Beware!

Traditionally advertising and promotional activity have been seen as distinct activities. Advertising has been the mainstay of most major brands and marketing operations the world over while promotional marketing has been used as a stop gap measure when sales were flagging, or reserved for a once a year activity which was as much about pleasing the sales department as it was about doing anything worthwhile or creative to support or enhance the integrity and consumer perceptions of a brand.

The explosion of on-line marketing and promotional activity combined with the growth of varied media forms has seen a decentralization of the sources of information. With these changes to viewing patterns and consumer take-up of media the traditional boundaries between forms of marketing activity have become blurred.

Hence the recent upsurge of interest in “promotional advertising”, an area of marketing activity which is essentially a hybrid of the two most traditional forms of brand and sales based activity.

As often occurs in new markets, many of the early entrants to the segment are lacking in credibility and see the new fields opening as an opportunity to take advantage of the naive enthusiasm of consumers. The wild promises and ridiculous assertions many promotional advertising organizations make strains the credulity of experienced marketing operators. With the anonymity of the internet it is possible for an unemployed delinquent to set-up a web page filled with the bold assertion that he is channeling the production of thousands of factories through his organization while the reality is the “organization” is nothing but a hastily cobbled together collection of plagiarized, error ridden copy hosted on a cut-price foreign server by a schoolboy with a limited understanding of black hat search engine optimization.

While Promotional Advertising may appear to be one of the latest buzz-words in marketing, time will tell whether it is anything more than a key word driven fad designed to confuse legitimate users of the internet and distract credible players from the real job of building worthwhile brands, providing genuine products and creative marketing services to their clients.

As one of Chinese leading promotions companies with legitimate experience in managing promotional advertising campaigns for some of Chinese largest companies we have often been approached by people who have fallen into the clutches of some of the dubious promotional advertising fringe players. The tales they tell of poor service and ridiculous claims would be amusing if they were not affecting the credibility of legitimate promotional advertising service providers.

Next Week...... The dark side of Promotional Advertising