11 Crucial Difference between Advertising and Publicity with Examples

What is the difference between advertising and publicity?

The core aim of a business organization is to earn profit and this the reason why many owners go the extra mile to do promotion.

The common type of promotions is advertising, publicity, public relation, and sales promotion. The lesson provides the core difference between advertising and publicity with a comparison table.

difference between advertising and publicity

What Is Advertising?

Advertising is a powerful communication tool used by a business organization to build brand image through paid media.

Advertising is a non-personal technique of promoting ideas, goods, and services over a large area. Examples of channels for advertising are social media, electronic media, and print media.

The information tends to be precise and short but reaches the targeted customers in a market segment. However, the method tends to be quite expensive hence suitable for large companies.

What Is Publicity?

Publicity is a non-personal communication tool used by a business organization to create awareness of ideas, products, and services to the customers.

The method is absolutely free but can involve a little amount of money. It is suitable for any business regardless of its size.

It attracts the attention of people through broadcast media, print media, and social media. It is either positive or negative. The method is true and real. Some people use the technique to spread negative rumors to competitors.

Comparison Chart: Advertising Vs Publicity

Basic Terms Advertising Publicity
Meaning It is a form of communication tool used by the business organization through paid media It is a free communication tool used by a business organization to spread the idea, goods or services
Driven By Company is driven Public driven
Time Frame Long term strategy to increase brand image Short term effect for achieving short term goals
Nature Non-personal form of communication Can either be personal or non-personal
Impact May either increase or lower sales Reflect the organization either in a positive or negative effect
Purpose Increase brand awareness and image reputation Attract people to purchase the products or services
Expenses Too expensive Less costly
Sponsor Run under an identified sponsorship Do not have sponsorship
Measurement The result can easily be calculated and measured Cannot be calculated
Focus on Target Audience Awareness
Credibility and Reliability Less Comparatively more

Core Difference between Advertising and Publicity

  1. The main aim of advertising the products or services for commercial purpose while publicity is to provide information on products or service
  2. Advertising speaks about the goodness of a product or service while publicity speaks about goodness and illness of a product.
  3. The credibility and reliability of advertising is relatively less while that of publicity is comparatively more
  4. Advertising is customer focus while publicity is more of creating awareness
  5. Publicity is done once whereas advertising is done repeatedly to grab the attention of customers
  6. Advertising is under control by the company unlike publicity
  7. Advertising needs huge investment while publicity tend to involve the little amount of money
  8. Advertising is a long term strategy of building brand image whereas publicity is a short term strategy for the immediate result
  9. The result of advertising can be measured and calculate while those of publicity cannot be calculated.
  10. The nature of advertisement is non-personal while that of publicity is either personal or non-personal.

Similarities between Advertising and Publicity

  1. Both are the non-personal presentation of products, services, and ideas to the masses
  2. Both aim at informing and educating the public on products or services
  3. The point of view of the prospect is the same in both advertising and publicity

You May Also Like:

Comparison Video


Advertising is meant for commercial purposes while publicity is creating awareness through information. The feature happens to be the core difference between advertising and publicity.

More Sources and References

Leave a Comment