There are many hurdles to overcome in marketing and advertising. Some of the most difficult are caused by the marketing regulations set forth by the different industries. Over time, the list of regulations has gotten longer, but marketing and advertising experts have started to use new, creative tactics that allow them to do their job while simultaneously abiding by the rules.
Advertising regulation refers to the laws and rules defining the ways in which products can be advertised in a particular region. These rules can define a wide number of different aspects, such as placement, timing, and content.
In the US, the biggest regulations surround “Health Topics” and “False Advertising.” Sweden and Norway prohibit domestic advertising that targets children. Other European countries don’t allow sponsorship of children’s programs in general, nor the use of advertisements five minutes before or after a children’s program is aired. In the UK, advertising of tobacco on television, billboards or at sporting events is banned. Similarly alcohol advertisers in the UK are not allowed to discuss in a campaign the relative benefits of drinking, in most instances therefore choosing to focus around the brand image and associative benefits instead of those aligned with consumption.
Overall, the most highly regulated forms of advertising around the World are tobacco advertising and alcohol advertising. Yet, marketers and advertisers in these industries have found clever ways to work with the requirements.
In the US, spirits advertising has self-regulatory bodies that create standards for the ethical advertising of alcohol. The special concern is where advertising is placed. Currently, the standard is that alcohol advertisements can only be placed in media where 70% of the audience is over the legal drinking age. Alcohol advertising’s creative messages should not be designed to appeal to people under the age of 21. Advertising cannot promote brands based on alcohol content or its effects. Lastly, advertising must not encourage irresponsible drinking.
Despite all of the regulations, some alcohol brands have been able to deliver truly memorable and profitable advertising campaigns. For example, in an ad from 5 years ago, a Red Stripe “infomercial” portrayed two Jamaican men attempting to do anything they could do to keep themselves from drinking beer on television – something regulations forbid. Red Stripe made a joke of the regulations – which only helped to deepen its popularity among fans and brand advocates. (Video above)
Before the 1970s, most tobacco advertising was legal in the United States and most European nations. In the US in the 1950s and 1960s, cigarette brands were frequently sponsors of television programs. One of the most famous television jingles of the era came from an advertisement for Winston cigarettes. The slogan “Winston tastes good like a cigarette should!” proved to be catchy.
In April 1970, Congress passed the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act, banning the advertising of cigarettes on tv and radio, starting January 2, 1971. Smokeless tobacco ads, on the other hand, remained on the air until a ban took effect on August 28, 1986.
Recently, new regulations prohibit tobacco companies from sponsoring sports, music, and other cultural events. Also, tobacco companies can no longer display their logos or advertise their products on T-shirts, hats, or other apparel. Eventually, the law is planned to require almost all tobacco advertisements to consist of black text on a white background, but the constitutionality of that requirement has come under scrutiny.
Yet, just as in the alcohol industry (and many of the other heavily regulated industries) , marketers and advertisers in the tobacco industry have found ways to turn all of the laws and regulations into Gold.