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Advantages and disadvantages of different advertising media


Promotion is one the four major elements of marketing mix, and one of the major methods of promotion is advertising. Companies spend billions of dollars worldwide on advertising to promote their products and services. Advertising can be done by using a number of methods. However, in this article, we are not discussing advertising in general. Rather, we would like to focus on the advantages and disadvantages of different advertising media.

Definition of advertising

‘Advertising is one of the most influential forms of communication within the promotional mix, and the one that perhaps has the most impact upon our everyday lives’ (Hughes and Fill, 2003, p.27). Advertising serves a number of purposes; therefore different media are very often required as well.

Different advertising media

Traditionally, organisations used to conduct advertising campaigns through newspapers, TV, radio etc. With the advent of the Internet, the whole spectrum has changed dramatically. Social networking sites have further revolutionised the methods of advertising. This article will mainly and briefly focus on advertising through newspapers, magazines, TV, radio, and the Internet. The purpose of the article is to explore the advantages and disadvantages of different advertising media.

Advantages and disadvantages of different advertising media


It is certainly easy to reach out to a large number of audience through newspapers; however, the attention of the target audience may split due to the large number of adverts published on the same newspaper. It is also to be noted that newspaper readership is gradually declining.


Advertising in magazines is very good to target specific readers. For example, an advert on a food magazine will be effective to promote food products. However, advertising in a magazine may not be suitable, particularly when organisations are trying to reach out to a large population.


TV advertising may include sight, sound and motion. It is brilliant to reach out to a large population through TV advertising. In addition, people usually do not use TV as a background medium. However, advertising on famous TV channels is usually very expensive.


It is a cost-effective medium for advertising (usually cheaper than TV); however, many people use radio as a background medium. Therefore, obtaining the full concentration of the target audience is a challenge.

The Internet

The Internet is gradually becoming the most favourite method of advertising for many companies. Social media, blogging, and advertising through affiliated websites are some of the common methods of advertising online. Advertising online is very effective as more and more people are becoming glued into the Internet. However, Internet advertising may be expensive for many small business owners. Likewise, customers often ignore adverts served to them online.

No doubt that each method has its advantages and disadvantages. And most importantly, advertising through one tool may not be effective. Therefore, it may be necessary to have a combination of a number of tools and by definition it is called integrated marketing communication.

Hope the article on the ‘advantages and disadvantages of different advertising media’ has been helpful. You may also like reading:

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The article publication date: 31 July 2016


Hughes, G and Fill, C. (2003) Marketing Communications, 1st edition, Butterworth-Heinemann

Photo credit: Pixabay

Author: M Rahman

M Rahman writes extensively online with an emphasis on business management and marketing. He is a graduate of both Leeds Metropolitan University and London South Bank University.

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