Truth in advertising. (Believe it or not?)

It happened again. While searching for a new investment property - I stumbled across an ‘almost too good to be true' price for a 2 bedroom condo in Calgary. I poured over the ad several times. I put it aside and came back to it 3 separate days and then made plans to drive 1 hour and 45 minutes to see the condo. Surprisingly we never found the new condo. We never found the address - or a sign posted saying a condo was to be built. In fact we never even found an empty field at the address listed on the advertisement.

I called the phone number to find out the sales office was 30 minutes away. I re-read the ad in the magazine. Nowhere was the address for the sales centre given. So I called again to clarify the other locations advertised.

It turned out that NONE of the locations had a condo at their several mentioned locations for the price or the size mentioned in the ad. The sales woman acknowledged that the reason the ad was written in the way it was - was to get an interested party to call in or come in and they would up-sell them.

For this reason - I will never again visit a showroom associates with this company. Neither will I read their ads. They will be immediately deleted from my conscious considerations.

The truth is a misleading ad that is meant to reel you in like a fish hooked by the headline or big print ad will only serve creating mistrust with readers. And you can bet there is now way they will recommend doing business with you.

So how are we supposed to catch the attention of the reader in an advertisement?

Tell the truth. It is a simple as that.

Our businesses all solve problems. Our best customers have the problems we solve. A great headline that will attract the attention of the right person will mention the problem or how the problem was solved - and the reader will identify with it.

Another way is to peak the curiosity of the reader. An example might be - "Why does Fido run to the door every time the doorbell rings - and what has that got to do with my ability to succeed?" would peak my curiosity.

Good advertising is targeted to reach the right customers - educates and informs them and offers a solution to their problem. If they truly have the problem - and want it solved - and now is the right time and you have the right price - then they will call or visit for more information. Being creative and writing good copy is part of getting their attention but in the end they need to want what you have to offer.

You may have to get creative - but you will never have to lie to them. Misleading advertising only serves to drive customers away - for good.

Make sure your offers:

• Are clear

• Catch the attention of the reader (get creative)

• Are factual and truthful

• Do not have small print (signifies trickery)

• Have a call to action

These are simple steps - and will ensure your contact with the potential client is above board - and begins to build a relationship instead of poisoning it before you have an opportunity to interest them in your offer.

"One of the keys to effectiv communication and dispute resolution is understanding ourselves and how we think and also understanding how others are wired as well. Each of us has personality styles that are unique to ourselves - however there are also patterns as well. When you understand the differing personality styles and their blends - you begin to see people as they are with more understanding! For more information on understanding personality styles please contact Mandie at"


Mandie Crawford is a marketing expert, business coach, trainer and motivational speaker who was recently awarded Calgary Business Woman of the Year for her contributions to the business community.

Mandie also has skills and expertise in providing high quality guidance in time management and system implementation for small a medium sized businesses. Her passion as a business and professional development coach is to helps women recognize their value and self worth.

She is the Preside...

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