An event company has contacted me about a brand new show related to car modifications, planned for two months time in this region, and outlines what it appears to think is an offer that we at Motoring Middle East (MME) simply can’t refuse – a barter deal of a lifetime. Really? Let’s examine this, shall we?

Huh? Explain to me again why I would do this?

They want US to give THEM banner space on our website for 30 days (banner space which is of course prime real estate, and earns us money from advertisers who are paying to inhabit it).

They want us to publish all their press releases on our website and post them across our social media channels. Additionally we would have to report live from the show, and live-blog through our multiple media outlets.

Oh but that’s not all, they’d also like us to send out THEIR newsletters to OUR readers and finally, they need screenshots and statistics of all our coverage ‘no later than 7 working days post event’.


But, you’re thinking, that’s okay because for that lot (potential free exposure to several hundred thousand of our readers, viewers and listeners [we do videos and we’re on the radio too]), they must be offering something really special.

Something quite amazing in order to incentivise us to drop all the stuff that we’re doing – you know the content that our readers actually want to see, and the activities that earn us money from real paying clients – in order to fulfil these incredible requirements.

Well judge for yourself: in return we would get a nine square metre stand and our logos on the event’s website, printed material and newsletter.


Let’s just put this into context first – MME, with a substantial influence and large existing audience in the digital space, is tasked with promoting a show that no one has ever heard of, staged in a place that no one wants to go to (I won’t say where, but it’s true, especially as previous automotive events that used to take place there, have long since been canned), and in return, MME gets to promote itself to an audience that it helped to get there in the first place!

Hey? What? I’ve got to raise an eyebrow and utter the obvious phrase at this point: ‘It does not seem logical.’

In fact, I don’t believe a stand at a show of any kind helps to promote digital media much at all, and in order to even utilise and benefit from that show stand, we would have to invest in branding and promotional materials, as well as staff to run the stall over the duration of the show – a huge cost to us.

And as for the logos on the show’s print and digital presence – are you kidding? You DO NOT have an existing audience, so what possible benefit would it be to us?

Admittedly I’ve got to admire the audacity of it. This is cheekiness in the extreme, and the really sad part is that I suspect some in the media industry will actually go for it, not seeing it for the sham scam that it is.

When will people learn one simple fact – that proper and effective marketing, has to be paid for? There is no free cheat code. Put aside an advertising budget and then email or call us, meanwhile I don’t need to tell you what you can do with your shell stand.

One thought on “So you want the world and in return I get a logo and some scaffolding?

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