No one is immune to advertising or marketing. Whether you are a business owner or a consumer, there is a chance that you have been influenced by advertising. But what type of marketing is the most deceptive?
In this post, we will discuss the different types of advertising and analyze to what extent they are reliable.
What is misleading marketing?
This is a type of advertising that, as its name suggests, is intended to deceive the public. What for? To make them buy something, which, after all, is the goal of all marketing strategies.
This is usually done by giving the product characteristics that do not correspond to reality. Many times it is based on some real element, but exaggerated to astronomical levels. In other cases, absolutely everything can be invented.
Because of this, advertising regulatory bodies have been formed in many countries. If any such campaign is found to be misleading, it can be suspended. Some brands have even found themselves facing million-dollar lawsuits. Among them, several of the most recognized brands in the world.
In which media do you find the most false advertising?
There are many types of marketing. There is the one that is done physically, with posters or in magazines, for example. There is also television, radio and online. And each of them has, in turn, several typologies. For example, internet marketing can be email marketing, social media marketing, among others.
In which of all of them can we find the most lies? It is difficult to answer, because misleading advertising has been linked to marketing since its beginnings. Of course, this does not mean that all advertising is of this type. However, there is one medium where most of the lies in advertisements are currently found. That is, of course, the Internet. And there are several reasons why this happens.
The first reason why digital marketing has a huge amount of lies is its massiveness. There are so many millions of people spread across so many sites that marketers’ mouths water. When there are so many people, with different cultural levels, it is almost certain that someone will end up falling for it.
Another reason is ease of use. Making a good ad and putting it on a specialized blog can be very difficult. However, doing it on a social network, for example, is a piece of cake, even if it is not even of good quality. Likewise, it is enough to have several emails to do email marketing. Doing it well is another matter.
And the last element, closely related to the previous one, is freedom. A magazine may not sell advertising space to just anyone. However, in many Internet sites, anyone can place their ads without any filter. They can even do it for free. Social networks are an example of this.
These reasons cause many unscrupulous sellers to swarm the network of networks. It is important to investigate well any advertisement you see on the internet before spending money. You should do so especially if it seems too good to be true.
Types of misleading advertising
After years of existence and study of these hoaxes, it has been possible to see which are the most used methods. Do you want to know them? Find them in the following list:
✔ 1. Demonstrate that you offer the best price
Have you ever come across a marketing ad that claims to provide you with the best price on the market? It’s quite common. However, some go further. They try to prove it to you with tables showing how much similar products cost in the market.
Here the deception can come in two forms. The first and most extreme is that they give you the whole table with false prices. The other is that the figures are real, but they don’t show you the companies that sell the same thing cheaper.
✔ 2. Hiding additional costs.
It happens to many people that they buy a cell phone plan because it was sold to them as very cheap. However, when the monthly bill arrives, it turns out to cost much more. What happens in these cases? Well, they charge a whole series of additional charges that only appear in the small print of the contract. This is a clear example of hiding valuable information to sell.
✔ 3. The bait
A company advertises an incredibly good product at an irresistible price. When the customer rushes to buy it, it is mysteriously sold out. Then they offer him others of lesser quality and some people buy them anyway. In other words, the initial, fictitious product served as bait to lure the customer into the store. Once there, he falls prey to the salespeople’s famous convincing skills.
✔ 4. Lies in Pictures
This is another of the most common marketing deceptions and almost all of us have fallen victim to it. It happens when you see in pictures a big, juicy hamburger, full of condiments. However, when you buy it, it turns out to be a thin, dry thing with a sad little leaf of lettuce.
And it’s not just with food, it’s also common with toys and other types of products. Companies often get out of lawsuits by warning, in tiny letters, that the image may not correspond to reality.
✔ 5. Alleged price reduction.
Classic example of marketing deception. Imagine that a product costs five dollars and not enough people are buying it. The marketer thinks, “What do customers like? The rebates. So he advertises that the product is priced at ten dollars, but he’s selling it for 50%. That’s it, he’s assured sales by lying to his buyers.
Brands that have done misleading marketing
It’s not only unscrupulous small marketers that cheat with their marketing strategies. Also, sometimes, some of the most recognized brands in the world.
An example of this is the world-renowned Coca Cola. In 2013, one of its campaigns was sanctioned and removed from public spaces in Mexico. The reason was that it stated that its beverage had only 149 calories. Studies were carried out and this was proven to be false.
The sports footwear brand New Balance also fell into the practice of misleading marketing. In several advertisements it claimed that its toning walking shoes improved health and burned more calories. As a result, it faced a million-dollar class action lawsuit in 2011.
In 2012 it was Ferrero, the brand behind the tasty Nutella, which was involved in a lawsuit. All for launching ads making children believe that this chocolate was a healthy snack and balanced breakfast. In the end, it had to pay more than three million dollars.
Misleading advertising or marketing, then, can be found in any media, although mostly on the Internet. It is harmful to both individuals and brands, which lose the trust of their customers.
Social communicator and audio visual producer.
I am an entrepreneur willing to learn, I like to train myself in different topics that have to do with the online world, I am currently improving my knowledge in persuasive texts (copy), SEO writing and community manager.