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Hard Knocks

How to give the competition a few kicks--and still come off looking like the good guy

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This story appears in the March 1997 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Should I go negative?" That's the question that might occasionally buzz around in your head as you wonder about taking a whack at your major competitor in your advertising. You've got the proverbial little red devil on one shoulder urging you to "Go ahead, do it!" and the little white angel on the other side cautioning against it.

This kind of thinking happens when you're convinced your product or service is superior to your competitor's, or equal to theirs but less costly, yet is not as successful. You figure that using your ads to point out their negatives compared to your positives could turn some heads and bring more customers in the door.

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