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Guerilla Marketing: A Good Idea Or Legal Minefield?

Guerilla Marketing: A Good Idea Or Legal Minefield?

Small businesses are always looking for ways to market their company without spending too much money. This is where the idea of guerilla marketing was born, as a solution to small businesses with small marketing budgets.

The idea is simple, you take your marketing to the public, and make use of the existing environment. This involves companies placing things in public areas, creating pop-up stands and stalls during big events, and even designing street art. By doing this, you get your business in the public eye, and you almost play on the shock factor. People don’t expect to see these things, so it shocks them a little, and draws their attention. From here, you gain exposure, and your brand can grow.

At this point, it sounds like a very good idea. To be honest, there are loads of great examples of guerilla marketing that’s been unbelievably effective. It’s certainly a great way of actively promoting your business and making a name for yourself. There is one massive issue that lingers over all of this; is it legal?

In most cases, yes, it is. However, there are many ways you can do guerilla marketing illegally. Keeping that in mind, here are some things to watch out for, so you don’t break the law.

Don’t Vandalise Property That Belongs To Someone

If your idea of guerilla marketing is spray painting your logo on a statue or someone shop window, then you’re just being a vandal. Here, the police can get involved and legally arrest you. However, if you create something and place it in a public space – without damaging or vandalising anyone’s property – they can’t do anything. If they try and arrest you for this, then you’ll have plenty of civil rights attorneys backing you up for a wrongful arrest case. Just remember; don’t damage anyone’s property, don’t vandalise things, and make sure you only add your marketing exploits to a public space temporarily.

Don’t Cause Offence

Another way you can break the law is by creating something that causes offence. Designing something that mocks a group of people or insults a religion are examples of bad guerilla marketing. Not only that, but they will certainly land you in legal trouble. Believe it or not, some companies have tried to market their business using guerilla techniques and trying to make rude jokes that end up being racist or offensive. Keep it PG, and don’t insult races, religions, or people in general.

Don’t Enter Places Illegally

If you have an idea for a guerilla marketing campaign where you set up a pop-up stand in a mall, then you have to know the law around this. You can’t break into the mall in the dead of night to set this up. Likewise, if you can’t gatecrash an event to try and promote your business. Don’t enter places illegally, always ensure you have permission to do things before you do them.

To sum up; guerilla marketing is undoubtedly a clever and effective idea. However, it can present many legal issues for you and your company. As such, you must learn how to go about your business in line with the law, to avoid getting arrested and ruining your reputation!

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