Honesty in Advertising

March 2019

Our CEO, Liam Finlayson, on the seemingly unlikely relationship between the truth and great advertising.

"I have always been a big believer in the idea of honesty, which is something a lot of people find hard to reconcile when I tell them that I also run an advertising agency."

They scoff in the beginnings of polite laughter like I’ve made a great joke, and perhaps I have, but what they don’t often expect is that I’m also very serious about it.

In fact, I strongly believe (and there is a wealth of research conducted by men smarter than myself to support it) that the combination of honesty and advertising is the most effective advertising you will ever do for your business. And here’s why:

1. People don't like being lied to

In fact, most people when faced with a product they’d like to buy, will intentionally avoid purchasing that product in favour of another if they feel they’ve been marketed to dishonestly.

2. People end up disappointed with your product

When your product doesn’t live up to the hype that your advertising has created for it (as dishonestly marketed products often don’t) you actually reduce the likelihood that your customer will choose to purchase your product (or worse, anything your company is associated with) again in the future.

3. The research overwhelmingly demonstrates the success of this approach

A truly informative advertisement that genuinely aids in the purchasing decision of a potential customer has been proven to be the most effective advertisement for building long-term customer loyalty. Unless you’re selling trips into space for $5 million a pop, the chances are high that your company relies on repeat business, and if your company relies on repeat business, chances are your goal is not to ensure that they are

disappointed with your product.

So, when I say honesty is important to me, I mean that it’s also the central tenant of my agency — simultaneously our biggest difference from our competitors and our greatest strength. We believe that not only is this the most effective way to advertise, but that it is the only true way to ensure advertising success.

We seek to build a genuine relationship between your brand and the consumer — one in which the customer trusts in the quality of your product and your intentions, and you deliver to the customer in return a product that matches that expectation.

To this end, our agency will only take on high-quality accounts, selling high-quality products to well-informed customers. As the father of advertising, the late great David Ogilvy once said, we are committed to “only first-class business, and that in a first-class way.”

by Liam Finlayson

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