Difference between Advertising and Publicity

advertising and publicity BUSINESS  March 18, 2017adminshare this

Every business organization’s main aim is to generate sales for their products or services, for this reason, organizations usu various types of promotional techniques to reach their target audience and persuade them to buy the products or services which the organization is offering.

There are various types of promotional techniques and out of them most used are advertising, publicity, public relations, sales promotions, etc. This article focuses on communicating the difference between Advertising and Publicity.


Advertisement can be easily defined as a powerful communication tool which helps the organizations to sell goods, ideas or services to the targeted or potential customers. The American Marketing Association(AMA) defined advertising as, “Advertising is any paid form of non-personal communication and promotion of ideas, goods, and services by an identified sponsor”.

The advertisement is done through various channels of media like electronic media, print media, social media, etc. Every organization takes utmost care in creating and communicating the advertisement to their target market. The advertisements are a precise, short and simple communication to reach the customers by targeting and segmenting the customers into different groups.


Publicity refers to a non-personal communication by an organization to reach their customers about their product, service or idea. Publicity can be treated as an almost free or involves a very little amount of money but the money is not directly paid nor run under a identified sponsorship.

Many organizations rely on publicity as an important communication medium because of its credibility. The publicity is usually in the form of a news article or an editorial in the famous newspapers about an organization or a person or a movie. Publicity is like a mass communication, it is more of like a viral news.

Publicity is not under the control of an organization and sometimes the publicity becomes negative and can damage the reputation of the organization or a sub-brand of the company.


ADVERTISINGPUBLICITYAdvertising is purely a paid form of communication used by an organization.Publicity is an almost free form of communication, but sometimes money is also involved. Driven byAdvertising is a communication which is company driven.Publicity is a communication which is a public driven. Time frameAdvertising is a long-term strategy used by the organization to increase the brand reputation of the company.Publicity is a short-term strategy for achieving the very short or immediate goals. NatureAn advertisement is purely a non-personal form of communication.Publicity comes under both personal and Non-Personal also. ImpactAdvertisement given about the product or services may increase sales or lowers the sales.The publicity given may reflect the person or organization in the positive or negative sense sometimes. PurposeMostly business organizations use advertising for communicating about the products or services for increasing their brand awareness.Organizations as well as movie producers, cinema stars involve in publicity to attract the people to buy their product or watch their show, etc. ExpensesEvery business organization uses advertising strategies and set aside some money for advertising expenses.Not every business organization use publicity as their communication strategy and don’t put aside any money for publicity. SponsorAdvertisement campaigns run under a identified sponsorship of either company or a person.Publicity campaigns don’t have any sponsorers for spreading the information. MeasurementThe results or benefits obtained from the advertisement campaign can be calculated and measured easily.The results or benefits obtained from publicity cannot be easily calculated.


For calculating the benefits derived from advertising, the technique called DAGMAR – (Defining Advertising Goals for Measuring Advertising Results) is used by the organizations. Advertising and Publicity are the two most important communication strategies which can positively or negatively impact the business and reputation of the organization. Both the advertising and publicity are the mass communication tools which concentrates on reaching the larger audience. There are various advantages and disadvantages attached to both advertising and publicity.

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