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News & Events


The ‘Legalities’ of Ambient Scent Marketing

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Lane Powell Shareholder Paul Swanson authored a February 18 SoFAB Magazine article titled “The ‘Legalities’ of Ambient Scent Marketing.” In the article, Swanson discussed the advent of scent marketing in commercial zones and spaces, as well as the legal treatment it may receive if and when serious disputes arise regarding its efficacy.

Appealing to our sense of smell excites marketers because smells trigger an immediate emotional response from a consumer, precisely the type of response that might make one buy without thinking. “With all other senses, you think before you respond, but with scent, your brain responds before you think,” per Pam Scholder Ellen, a Georgia State University marketing professor.

When scent marketing moves beyond the smell of specific articles for sale and extends into the ambient environment, the legalities of this new and old marketing phenomenon become murky and untested. Due to the autonomous nature of our olfactory sense, we can be oblivious to how ambient fragrances affect our physical and emotional reactions to scent stimuli.