Publicity is information. “A message sent by a brand, which informs about its product and their offer to a receptor, who is a possible buyer.”
It is clear that the objective of the information in publicity is to convince customers to buy a specific product. The communication strategies could be more linear or complex, specific or diffuse, but it is information after all.
Unlike any other communication form, publicity is well regulated, observed and legislated.
- While a journalist can keep its sources under professional secrecy, a publicist is obliged by law to demonstrate, with independent studies or elaborated analysis, each statement made. Specially if it is comparative publicity.
- If it is about something creative, with more or less fantasy on it, a publicist is required to indicate with a caption that the content displayed is “fiction advertising”, so nobody might think that a car can fly and jump off a cliff… This is something a novel writer or a movie director is not obligated.
- Of course, we should not forget consumer associations and spectators, they are now everywhere with Social Media, and they are willing to go against any advertisement to find any kind of minimal persuasion. Something that does not happen with the news they read in newspapers, which we all know that are well influenced by third parties.
It is not just that it is prohibited to advertise some products, it is that in almost every sector, there are specific rules, laws and thousands of administrative controls you have to pass.
You can not just say that a medicament cures, you cannot show someone drinking any kind of alcoholic beverage even though it is just a drink, you can not say that a car is fast or many similar things…
At the end, publicity is so under control and reliable that it is going to be a lie. If you see a commercial that does not conform with reality, you can sue the advertiser, contrary to what you can do against politicians or journalists, just because it takes much longer…