The seafood industry is one part of the food industry competing for consumer protein demand. Generic advertising or promotion offers one approach to expand that demand. Generic promotion programs focus on market expansion involving an entire industry or segment. They involve advertising directly to the final consumer or to institutional or retail buyers, or promotion programs to accompany other marketing activities. Generic advertising programs to educate consumers about nutritional values of seafood and food safety measures taken by the industry may help to increase consumer demand. Generic promotion programs for agricultural commodities have enjoyed success and provided lessons useful for the seafood industry. Econometric analyses have generally determined that generic promotion programs have been relatively profitable for producers in aggregate, but impact varies considerably among programs. For success in the seafood industry, a substantial sub-sector of participants would need to agree to work together to provide the funding through a trade association or government program. The fragmented structure of fishing boat owners and the open access, common property nature of U.S. fisheries indicates that programs would need to be organized at the processor or wholesaler levels. Challenges would be the relatively small operations which are geographically dispersed, but a few companies account for a large portion of total product. Several generic promotion programs exist in the seafood industry: the unsuccessful U.S. Seafood Promotion Act of 1986, an ongoing Alaska salmon promotion program, a Norway salmon promotion program, and in the farm-raised catfish industry program in the southeastern U.S. Successful programs will require well thought out objectives that identify commodity attributes that could be successfully promoted, recognize budget limits, allocate resources carefully, develop an implementation strategy that fits the industry structure, and include plans to evaluate effectiveness.
Armbruster, W.J. Generic Advertising for the Seafood Industry. In: Microbehavior and Macroresults: Proceedings of the Tenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade, July 10-14, 2000, Corvallis, Oregon, USA. Compiled by Richard S. Johnston and Ann L. Shriver. International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade (IIFET), Corvallis, 2001.