Marketer’s what’s wrong with this picture…

A while back as I was walking through my local mall I came upon this sign in the window.

As a marketer I believe in providing quality offers that drive results. An exceptional offer is one of the building blocks for marketing success either digitally or traditionally. I would NOT consider this a quality offer.

Take a look…. Can you tell me why?

If you are going to make a bold statement such as “30% off entire store”, you are making a powerful offer.

You take all of that power away from the statement with the parenthetical statement “(Exclusions May Apply)”

Marketers love to use weasel words or statements. But beware: What you give with your left hand, you take away with your right.

I know it’s obvious to you, but entire store means to the consumer the entire store.


How many people missed the weasel words and walked into the store only to find out that the item that they were interested wasn’t on sale? Better yet, how much of the merchandise in the store was actually on sale?

And more importantly, how many people walked out of the store (or saw the parentheses and never even entered like myself) and said the company was lying. And how many more shared the BS that the company offered via social media?

I know some marketer thought that this was a spectacular way of driving sales. And maybe they DID get people into the store to buy — more people than would normally have bought.

But I ask you at what cost? To me, I see a short term gain at the expense of future customers and revenue?

How about you?


Jim Gilbert is a digital, social and direct marketing rainmaker. He can be reached at

Like what you read? Give Jim Gilbert a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.