In marketing, there is often a fine line between euphemisms and lies. It can be quite tempting to embellish when crafting your promotional materials, especially when the competition may seem to have an edge.
However, blatantly lying on your marketing materials can have strong consequences. Not only can it result in a backlash against your brand, but it also can actually have legal ramifications. To avoid accidentally lying on your promotional materials, here are some tips and techniques to keep in mind:
- The Truth, Only Prettier – Do as your mother said and always tell the truth. However, there is a huge difference between telling a blatant lie and telling a “pretty truth.” For example, if you own a paint shop and are advertising a special on discounted expired cans of paint, it would be a bad idea to promote the product as new or fresh. However, if you believe that the expired paint is still to completely useable, you can emphasize that fact in your promotional materials. That would be a “pretty truth.”
- Don’t Fake Customer Testimonials – If you are planning on running testimonials to promote your business, that’s fine. However, insincere customer testimonials performed by actors are usually regarded as false advertising. Err on the side of caution and pursue your customers for genuine testimonials. Many will love their fifteen minutes of fame.
- Consider Legalities – Remember that false advertising is a huge deal. People have and still do sue businesses that advertise falsely, and it can also get you into hot water with the Better Business Bureau. You should be extremely cautious of any statement that could be considered untrue. When in doubt, always omit any phrase or sentence that you think could later lead to trouble.
We know that marketing can be an extremely competitive sport. However, with the right materials and well-crafted ad copy, you are sure to stand out from the crowd. Just remember: Never ever fabricate any information about your business. The results are too dangerous to ever make it worthwhile.