Advertising Negative



Chapter Eighteen:    

Negative Advertising

To attack a rival is never good advertising. Don't point out others' faults. It is not permitted in the best mediums. It is never good policy. The selfish purpose is apparent. It looks unfair, not sporty. If you abhor knockers, always appear a good fellow.
     Show a bright side, the happy and attractive side, not the 
dark and uninviting side of things.  Show beauty, not homeliness; 
health, not sickness.  Don't show the wrinkles you propose to 
remove, but the face as it will appear.  Your customers know all 
about the wrinkles.
     In advertising a dentifrice, show pretty teeth, not bad 
teeth.  Talk of coming good conditions, not conditions which 
exist.  In advertising clothes, picture well-dressed people, not 
the shabby.  Picture successful men, not failures, when you 
advertise a business course.  Picture what others wish to be, 
not what they may be now.
     We are attracted by sunshine, beauty, happiness, health, 
success.  Then point the way to them, not the way out of the 
     Picture envied people, not the envious.
     Tell people what to do, not what to avoid.
     Make your every ad breath good cheer.  We always dodge a 
Lugubrious Blue.
     Assume that people will do what you ask.  Say, "Send now for 
this sample.  "Don't say, "Why do you neglect this offer?" That 
suggests that people are neglecting.  Invite them to follow the 

     Compare the results of two ads, one negative, one positive.  
One presenting the dark side, one the bright side.  One warning, 
the other inviting.  You will be surprised.  You will find that the 
positive ad out pulls the other four to one, if you have our 
     The "Before and after taking" ads are follies of the past.  
They never had a place save with the afflicted.  Never let their 
memory lead you to picture the gloomy side of things.
Return to Book Intro and Chapter Index:  Scientific Advertising
Continue to the next Chapter: Advertising Letter Writing


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