From the September 2000 issue of Entrepreneur

Want to really mess up your advertising campaign? Barry Cohen can tell you how. The 47-year-old co-owner of AdLab Media Communications LLC (www.adlabcreative.com) in Clifton, New Jersey, points out common bad ideas in his book, 10 Ways to Screw Up an Ad Campaign (Entrepreneur Press).

"After 21 years of working with businesses, I saw a desperate need for people to have a no-nonsense, simple guide to help them avoid common mistakes," Cohen says. Among his sage advice on what not to do in your ad campaign:

Hire your brother-in-law as marketing director. Relatives don't always make the grade. Instead, hire someone who is really qualified to handle your promotion.

Handle everything yourself. A better idea: Spend your time doing what you do best-and leave the advertising to someone who does that for a living.

Do what you've always done. Nothing's worse than getting stuck in a rut. Don't be afraid to try new ideas.

Above all, Cohen emphasizes that "You can out-advertise the competition, even if you can't outspend them. There is a formula to doing this right. Follow the formula and it will work."



Gwen Moran is president of Moran Marketing Associates, a public relations and marketing communications agency in Ocean, New Jersey. She is the creator of BoostYourBiz.com, a marketing information Web site. E-mail her at gwen@boostyourbiz.com.