Advertising and Publicity | Differences | Similarities

Differences between Advertising and Publicity

Thus, the terms “advertising” and “publicity” are not identical. They are different from each other. The main differences between them are:

Advertising and Publicity

Advertising and Publicity

Advertising Publicity
1. Advertising is a sponsored communication. Publicity may or may not be a sponsored communication.
2. The sponsor is usually identified in the advertisement. The sponsor may or may not be identified in publicity.
3. Advertisement is always paid for. Publicity may or may not be paid for.
4. Advertising is intended to persuade the public to buy goods. Publicity is intended to give information to the public.
5. Advertising is always done in favour of something. Publicity may be done either in favour of or against something.
6. Advertising refers to specific attempt or efforts to popularise a particular product or service. Publicity has a wider scope than advertising.
7. Advertising is a commercial activity. Publicity may or may not be a commercial activity.

It is true that advertising and publicity differ from each other in several respects. But in practice, often, these two terms are used interchangeably. This is because of the following reasons:

Similarities between Advertising and Publicity

1. The function of both advertising and publicity is the same. Both make a non-personal presentation of a product, service or idea to the masses.

2. The aim of both advertising and publicity is similar. Both aim at informing and educating the public about some products or services.

3. The masses, with whom a communication is made through advertising and publicity, are not interested in knowing whether the sponsor is identified or not in the communication, and whether it is paid for by the sponsor or not. That means, from the point of view of the public, both are same.