What are the ethics of Guerrilla Marketing? I plastered a handful of posters advertising this weekend's AP & Beyond festival around our area this afternoon. I restricted myself to applying posters to public property only - lampposts, telephone green boxes, rubbish bins. 

And I certainly did not use drawing-pins like the unfortunate person below! It was blue-tack throughout. 

Did I do OK? If I was advertising a nightclub in Tottenham or a new brand of Vape cigarettes instead of a community event would the judgement be different?

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I think it's ok!   After all, where else are you going to advertise a community event?  

Yes,  Tesco has a board for community adverts, but it's only one place.  It would be great to have nicely-designed  bulletin boards at regular intervals round the neighbourhood where people could put up their ads.  Nice wrought iron or tough wood  with a big board that's easy to stick things to.   Years ago you could stick ads in shop windows but they seem to be out of favour now. 

A nightclub in Tottenham is still a community thing so why not? . Vape cigarettes are not a local initiative so - no!  

I was stumped in the Tesco on the High Road when I took in a leaflet for something or other and they told me I had to bring my own drawing pins!

Oh no!  Another customer satisfaction opportunity lost!  Sainsbury's will be on to that - "FREE DRAWING PINS" !


earlier this year we had a discussion about "informal" poster sites, trees fences etc. Have a look at this forum thread

Personally I think it's reasonable to promote community events in this way, but my feeling is that profit making enterprises should factor in the cost of promotion into their businesses and pay for advertising.

Either way ... there are also lots of ways to promote community events online - Including the Fabulous AP&Beyond Festival happening this weekend!

Yes I think it's great! I saw your poster and am going :) Agree with all Kathleen's comments and I'd add that people who walk round for hours distributing in all weathers are not usually the same big businesses that can necessarily afford to advertise regularly. I for one offer free lessons in my own time (Sunday afternoons) to volunteers to help me do this as I can't always afford advertising as well as childcare for a part-time business. My Salsa classes have a children's charity side too which has raised in excess of £1000 in just over a year but eats up most of the would-be advertising budget so when you look at ethics, you need to consider the bigger picture. If we were all forced to pay for regular advertising, it would only be the big businesses with plenty of capital behind them that would survive, not necessarily the ones offering the best quality/fun/ community benefits etc and the biggest loser would be the community. Online is of course invaluable but many of my older students in particular are not online and many foreign students wouldn't know where to look, so many people would be excluded without this visual presence at street level. I started Salsa 20 years ago because of a flyer that I saw on a tree and it's given me my dream job and the opportunity to help children in need so personally I feel it would be a huge shame to see this form of advertising go! 

You've raised points in your post that I didn't think of before, about fees for advertising etc.  Your story is so interesting too!

Thanks Kathleen, that's very sweet of you! Sx


Connecting the communities of Bowes Park and Bounds Green in north London.

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