Supported Feature

What do you do when a media company calls to say that they have been instructed by your biggest and most important client to produce a special feature about them and they’d like you to support it with advertising?

This type of supported feature has been around for a long time and we’ve all either been asked to support a client or have been approached by a magazine to suggest one to our suppliers. They can be useful promotional opportunities and helpful in building good relationships with key business partners.

That’s all fine and dandy, but do you take the approach from the magazine at face value and pay for the advert etc or do you, just by chance, double check to see if it is a legitimate approach?

For two years running I have been approached on behalf of a client that manages major projects for KFC by such an on-line magazine. It claimed to have been instructed by KFC to create an annual feature about its work and because my client is highly respected by KFC the promotions team has put them forward as the preferred shopfitter to support the promotion with some advertising of its own. The first time they rang I took the contact and website details and said I would get back to them. When I asked for more company details they suddenly went cold; probably because KFC had no connections with the rather poor looking website in the first place.

When they rang this year I could not believe it, as I clearly remembered them from last time. Once again KFC confirmed that they had instructed no such promotion so when the company rang back and I accused them of running a scam it was no surprise that the “editor” did not ring me back to put my mind at ease.

So, if you get one of those “please support us” calls from someone in the media, please make sure of the value of appearing in the magazine or on the website, but also remember to check with your customer that they are actually doing the promotion in the first place – because oddly enough, sometimes it’s simply a pack of lies. 

Written by Graham Parker MA MCIPR

Graham Parker MA MCIPR

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