Ambush Marketing- Is It Ethical?

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Ambush Marketing- Is It ethical?
While a lot of discussion has been going on for quite some time on “Marketing ethics” including almost every aspect of marketing be it market research, market audience, pricing or marketing strategy. But none of these issues seem to be even close to the issues raised by the ethics of advertising and promotion and specifically “ambush marketing” in particular. Hence in this article we will take a quick look at the ever-increasing practice of ambush marketing, its origin, examples and its ethical concerns. Background:

The term “ambush” in literal terms means “an attack from a hidden position”, this in fact, is the founding stone of the term “ambush marketing”. “Ambush Marketing” was coined in the 1980’s by Jerry Welsh, the renowned marketing strategist, while he was working as a manager for global marketing efforts for American Express. When he coined the term, he referred it as a creative and legitimate marketing strategy which could provide a level playing ground to the competitors of a thematic sponsor. Today, however, the term is associated with a negative connotation. According to Wikipedia “ambush marketing refers to a company's attempt to capitalize on the goodwill, reputation, and popularity of a particular event by creating an association with it, without the authorization or consent of the necessary parties.” It is an attempt of the ambusher to associate itself with an event without paying the fee and get some rub-off effects from it. When implemented effectively, it diminishes the value of the actual sponsors of the event by confusing the customers Fig:Typical example of ambush marketing

Fig1.1:Jet airlines putting a billboard “we’ve changed”

Fig1.2:Kingfisher took the responsibility of making them change

Fig1.3:Go Air cashed in on the success of the two billboards There is a thin line between Ambush marketing and effective marketing practice. All the marketing strategies adopted by a rival company in the...
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