DIY Advertising. Would you cut your own hair?

DIY home improvement shows are awesome. I especially love the ones that feature some weekend-warrior attempt to build a dream bathroom, only to fi nd him or herself hip deep in a major mess. In business, DIY advertising is worse than a home reno fail. DIY advertising is more like a DIY haircut. It never looks good. It’s embarrassing. It will take a long time to fi x. And, your next trip to the salon will be expensive.

I’ve recently encountered several situations where advertisers were going to take a DIY approach. The most recent example involved a prospective client. After reviewing at least three ad agencies, and having worked with two others in the past, this advertiser informed us that they were taking everything in house. They are actually going to invest in creative staff, design software, new computers, media buyers, media planners, media software, ratings data and market research.The cost will be relatively astronomical. In a real way, this advertiser is starting a new business that is unrelated to its core competency. Investing in new staff, new software, new equipment, etc. could add up to tens of thousands of dollars a year (or more)! And there won’t be any return!

If someone were to propose giving themselves a new haircut, I’d yell “NO!” So, if given the chance, I propose these three questions to people considering a DIY approach to advertising.

Can you afford the learning curve?

Why make the investment?

Don’t you deserve better?

You want someone who knows what they are doing to cut your hair. So why not a professional ad agency?

By M. Gillespie


Pennsylvania Considering Ban on All Gifts to Politicians: What Do You Think?

What do you think? Should Pennsylvania follow the lead of states like Florida and enact a total ban on gifts to politicians? Should allowances be made for gifts under a certain value, as other states have done? Or should there be no ban on gifts at all?

I found the following by Michael Cornnell in Promo Marketing Magazine:

The state of Pennsylvania is currently considering a major political reform bill affecting the value and type of gifts that politicians from the state can receive. The current bill, which affects cash gifts only, has passed the state senate but a larger ban—one that could include physical gifts of any kind—could be possible.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Senate State Government Committee chairman Sen. Lloyd Smucker (R., Lancaster), has “advocated a wide ban on gifts and hospitality.” What a “wide” ban would mean is unknown, but if it mirrors bills that exist in other states, it could mean a total exclusion. This would mean common promotional thank-yous—such as a crystal award from a nonprofit or a commemorative flag from a veteran’s association—would be illegal in Pennsylvania under such a bill.

The current cash-banning bill is not yet law, still having to pass the state House and be approved by the governor. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, a spokesperson for Governor Corbett said that he would approve the cash ban, but “stopped short of saying the governor would support a complete gift ban.” Others in the Pennsylvania government have also expressed doubt over banning gifts. Said the Inquirer:

“Senate President Joe Scarnati’s chief counsel, Drew Crompton, said he thinks a total gift ban could be unwieldy and difficult to enforce. Would that mean returning or destroying flowers from a constituent? Plaques from civic clubs? Coffee mugs from a local business?”