Marketing Management

Advertising Disadvantages Or Limitations Of Advertising

Meaning Of Advertising – The term advertising is derived from a Latin word ‘advertere’ , which means to turn attention towards a specific thing. The dictionary meaning of the word advertising is to announce publicly or to give public notice . In other words , it may be interpreted as to attract the attention of the people concerned toa Specific message which has been announced by the advertiser . In this way , advertising is turning the attention of the people towards products , services , ideas by an identified sponsor .

Limitations Of Advertising

(1) One-way Communication – It is a non-personal form of mass communication. If the target audience have any doubts or queries, the same can not be cleared simultaneously. The advertiser can not take immediate feedback about the marketing message.

(2) Not Feasible for Unbranded Products – Advertising can not be used as promotional tool in case of unbranded products. Without branding products can not just be identified and hence cannot be advertised.

(3) Not much Effective if Number of Target Customers is very Small – Advertising is a form of mass communication. If number of target customers is very small, like in case of industrial goods, advertising is not very effective.

(4) Inflexible – Advertising is one-way communication. It can not be adjusted as per the response of target audience. So it is rigid and inflexible. On the other hand, the message can be adjusted and modified as per the response and feedback of target audience in case of personal selling.

(5) Not much Effective for Technical Message – If the message to be communicated to target audience is general, informative or persuasive in nature, it can be effectively communicated through advertising. But if some technical message is to be communicated then advertising proves ineffective.

(6) Less Effective During Later Stages of Product Life Cycle – Advertising is an effective tool of marketing communication in the introduction and growth stage of product life cycle, when informative and persuasive messages are to be communicated. But in the later stages of product life cycle, i.e., in maturity and decline stages sales promotion is more effective than advertising, as in these stages, the target customers expect some extra value in the form of free gifts and they are already well-informed and aware about the product.

(7) Less Credibility – The message communicated through advertising is less believable. It does not generate much public confidence as usually features of the product are exaggerated and weaknesses/side-effects of the product are not disclosed. Further, the message is communicated by the highly paid message source person who are often celebrities like sportspersons, TV stars, film actors, models, etc. In reality, it is possible that they have never used the product which they are endorsing. They simply endorse the product because they are paid for it. It reduces the credibility of ad-message.

(8) Less Effective in Case of Undifferentiated Products – If our product cannot be differentiated from other products, then advertising will not be very effective tool of marketing.

(9) Subjective Methods of Evaluation of Ad-Effectiveness – Methods of evaluating ad-effectiveness are subjective in nature, i.e., as per one method, a given advertisement may be very effective, while the other method of evaluation of ad-effectiveness may give different results, i.e. may rate the same advertisement as ineffective. The subjectivity in methods of evaluation of ad-effective reduces the utility of advertising.

(10) Problem of Ad-wars – Often rival companies indulge in ad-wars which unnecessarily confuses the target audience and increases the ad-budget unnecessarily which is ultimately passed on to customers in the form of increased prices. For example, the ad-war between Pepsi and Coke is very common.

(11) Problem of Media Clutter and Ad-Avoidance – Media clutter refers to excessive advertisement in a media. Nowadays, the newspapers, magazines and TV channels show excessive number of advertisements to earn more revenue. The target audience do not view, listen or take interest in all the advertisements. Due to advertising clutter in the media and technological accessibility the problem of ad-avoidance has become a serious problem in recent years. Due to the facility of remote control the tendency of avoiding ads by switching over to other channels (called zapping of ad) and fast forwarding the ad with a view to avoiding it (called zipping of ad) has become common. According to a survey, the rate of avoidance of TV advertisements is almost 78 per cent.

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