Difference between Advertising and Publicity

Difference between Advertising & Publicity

Sometimes people consider advertising and publicity as similar promotional tools. This is not wrong that both of them are promotional techniques but they have some differences in between.


Advertising is a non-personal way of promoting the goods or services a company or an individual want to promote towards the customers and consumers they target. Advertisement can be done through many mediums such as websites, televisions, radio, newspapers and social media too. It is an expensive way of promotion because it includes sponsors through which one’s products get visibility. It is the most used promotional tool. Regardless of being an expensive way of promotion, it is being used a lot because of positive results.


Publicity is not much used for business purpose. Publicity is more about creating awareness among people by using mediums such as social media, broadcast media or any medium available for public. In case of publicity, the subject can be any individual, company, product or any such thing which needs to be known by the public. Publicity can be negative as well as positive. Publicity is the general public’s impression about any subject. It is a cost-free promotional tool. There are no third party promoters involved in publicity. Publicity is considered more real and accurate then advertisement as it is the public opinion. A negative publicity can decrease the sales of a product and a positive one can increase it a lot.

Differences Between Advertising and Publicity:

Now we will go through the key differences between advertising and publicity one by one.

Advertising is used for commercial purposes such as to increase the sales of a product while publicity is more about providing information about a product or services. Publicity is more like a review of a product.

Advertising is the company’s thoughts and reviews about their products or services while publicity is what other’s think about company’s products or services.

Advertisement can be a biased because it is what a company thinks about their own products and services while publicity is completely un-biased because it has no commercial purposes so it will be closest to reality, whether it is a positive or a negative publicity.

Advertising is planned keeping the customers in focus because it is all about influencing customers to buy the products and services while publicity is not done considering any commercial purposes.

Advertising is a continuous process of making an image in the mind of customers through repetition of the advertisement. On the other side publicity is just a one-time activity for public information.

Advertisement is a controlled promotional activity which means that it aims to convey a certain image which the company wants to promote. On other hand publicity is not controlled by the company or any individual. It is an open opinion made about anything.

It requires a good amount of money to run an advertisement campaign. Cost of advertisement is very high. The advertisement cost varies according to the medium and target market. Publicity is a free of cost promotional tool.



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