What is voluntary generic advertising?
Generic advertising is a type of marketing designed to promote a general product rather than a specific brand name. Such campaigns have been produced for everything from fresh milk to gemstones. This type of advertising does not mention particular brand names but attempts to build consumer support for the product in general.
Where have you heard about voluntary generic advertising?
As an investor, you may have come across it in the annual reports of the companies in which you are invested. The success or otherwise of such campaigns can be a major factor in corporate results - you may remember the 1993 'got milk?' campaign in America, one of the most successful campaigns of all time.
What you need to know about voluntary generic advertising.
The 'voluntary' prefix says that only those companies that wish to pay towards the campaign do so. Such advertising is perhaps most prominent in the promotion of agricultural produce, with campaigns promoting milk, beef, lamb, chicken, eggs and other foodstuffs.
Because the bills for these types of campaigns are footed only by those firms in the industry in question that are willing to pay, there is a persistent 'free rider' problem in which others benefit from the campaign but pay nothing towards it.
Other famous American campaigns include: 'Pork. The Other White Meat' and 'Beef: It's What's for Dinner'.