Publicity means the same as advertising, though usually with a rather special sense. If a manufacturer is about to open a new factory, he may advertise in newspapers and put up posters. But he may also give publicity to the opening of the factory by inviting musician or actor and other important dignitaries. Crowd would collect to watch their arrival, while press photographers and newsreel cameramen would record the scene. Businessmen also talk of a publicity campaign. As campaign usually means a more concerted effort at publicizing the product.
Advertising is one of the ways in which merchants and manufacturers market their goods. It had become an important and specialized branch of modern economic life. Advertising does two things. It tells would be buyers that a certain article is on sale and where they can buy it, and, when many firms supply the same articles, it tries to persuade people to buy the advertiser’s own brand. Most people think of advertising in terms of television commercials, bill posters, and press advertisements. But there is also a real deal of industrial advertising of capital goods in specialized trade magazine; retailer advertising in local papers; and classified advertising. These and other forms brings in large sums of money, which help to subsidize, and make it cheaper to the public, newspaper, magazines, cinema tickets, television programmes and even public transports.
Advertising and publicity both really date from an early stage in man’s economic life. Even trade sign over a shop is a kind of advertising and trade signs certainly go back at least as far as the days of ancient Rome, An actual display of the goods is another old form of advertising and publicity. In medieval times, a good deal of such advertising took place at the regular fairs held in important centers. Fairs and exhibitions are still held today in the various part of the world.