Category: Objective Test
Type: Individual


60-minute test administered during the NLC.

Objective Test Competencies: Personal Selling and Sales Promotion; Traditional and Alternative Advertising Media; Consumer Behavior; Basic Marketing Functions; Branding and Positioning; Economy; Advertising Plan; Legal and Ethical Issues; Diversity and Multicultural Market; Public Relations; Creation of the Advertisement; Consumer-Oriented Advertising; Financial Planning; Communication; Consumer Purchase Classifications; Target Market; Market Segmentation; Product Development; Product Life Cycle; Price Planning; Channels of Distribution; Marketing Research; Effective Advertising and Promotional Messages; Budget; Financing Advertising Campaigns; Demographics; History and Influences; Advertising Industry and Careers; Supply Chain Management; Distribution Logistics; Internet; Self-Regulation; Careers; Advertising Workplace; Leadership, Career Development, and Team Building; Risk Management

Skills: This event provides recognition for FBLA members who possess knowledge of the basic principles of advertising.


Objective Test

Objective Test Guidelines

  • No materials may be brought to the testing site.
  • Electronic devices must be turned off and out of sight.
  • No calculators may be brought into the testing site; calculators will be provided.
  • Bring a writing instrument.

The general event guidelines below are applicable to all national competitive events. Please review and follow these guidelines when competing at the national level. When competing at the state level, check the state guidelines since they may differ.


  • Dues: Competitors must have paid FBLA national and state dues by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on April 1 of the current school year.
  • NLC Registration: Participants must be registered for the NLC and pay the national conference registration fee in order to participate in competitive events.
  • Deadlines: The state chair, or designee, must register each state competitor on the official online entry forms by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the second Friday in May.
  • Each state may submit four (4) entries in all events except LifeSmarts, Virtual Business Finance Challenge, and Virtual Business Management Challenge.
  • Each competitor can only compete in one (1) individual/ team event and one (1) chapter event.
  • Each competitor must compete in all parts of an event for award eligibility.
  • A team shall consist of two or three members. Exceptions are Parliamentary Procedure which must be a team of four or five members, and LifeSmarts which must be a team of two members.
  • All members of a team must consist of individuals from the same chapter.

Repeat Competitors

Competitors are not permitted to compete in an event more than once at the national level unless one of the following circumstances applies:

  • Modified Events: A competitor may compete in the same event when the event is modified. Note, if the only modification is a name change, competitors may not compete in the renamed event.
  • Team Events: One (1) competitor of the team may have competed in the same event at one (1) previous NLC; however, they may not compete more than twice in the event at the national level.
  • Chapter Events: Competitors may compete in a chapter event more than once (American Enterprise Project, Community Service Project, and Partnership with Business Project).
  • Individual Entry: A competitor who competed as an individual entry in a team event at the national level may compete in the same event a second time as part of a team, but not a second time as an individual.
  • Parliamentary Procedure: Two (2) competitors of the team may have competed in this event at a previous NLC; however, they may not compete more than twice at the national level.
  • Pilot Event: Competition in a pilot event does not disqualify a competitor from competing in the same event if it becomes an official competitive event. The participant may compete in another event as well as a pilot event.

Breaking Ties

  • Objective Tests: Ties are broken by comparing the correct number of answers to the last 10 questions on the exam. If a tie remains, the competitor who completed the test in a shorter amount of time will place higher. If this does not break the tie, answers to the last 20 questions will be reviewed and determine the winner.
  • Objective and Production Tests: The production test scores will be used to break a tie.
  • Objective Tests and Performances: The objective test score will be used to break a tie based on the tie-breaking criteria of objective tests.
  • Reports/Projects and Performances: The report/project scores will be used to break a tie.
  • Performances: Judges must break ties and all judges’ decisions are final.

National Deadlines

  • State chair/adviser must register all competitors for NLC competitive events online by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the second Friday in May.
  • All prejudged components (report PDFs, resume/letter of application PDFs, and project URLs) must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the second Friday in May.
  • All URLs and PDFs for prejudged projects and reports will be submitted by the state adviser via the competitive events registration form.
  • All production tests must be received at FBLA-PBL by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the third Friday in May.
  • All production tests must be uploaded online.
  • State chair/adviser may make name changes only (no additional entries) by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the first Friday in June. Competitor drops are the only changes allowed after this date and onsite.

National Awards

The number of competitors will determine the number of winners. The maximum number of winners for each competitive event is 10. Only one (1) award is given to the schools competing in chapter events (American Enterprise Project, Community Service Project, Local Chapter Annual Business Report, and Partnership with Business Project).

Additional Materials

Certain events may allow the use of additional materials. Please refer to event guidelines.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

FBLA‑PBL meets the criteria specified in the Americans with Disabilities Act for all participants who submit a special needs form.

Recording of Presentations

No unauthorized audio or video recording devices will be allowed in any competitive event. Participants in the performance events should be aware the national association reserves the right to record any performance for use in study or training materials.


General Competitive Events Tips
Event Tips
Sample Practice Materials

Format Guide

Website Resources
Personal Selling and Sales Promotion
1. Explain the steps involves in the sales process (generate leads, approach customers, determine customer needs, present the product, overcome objections, close the sale, follow up).
2. Describe reasons why sales promotion is needed (influence consumer decisions, encourage trial of new products, strengthen brand loyalty, influence consumer behavior)
Traditional and Alternative Advertising Media
1. Describe traditional types of advertising media (television, radio, print, direct mail, flyers and brochures, outdoor).
2. Identify advertising media selection criteria (reach, frequency, lead time, cost).
Consumer Behavior
1. Recognize the importance of understanding the customer’s wants and needs.
2. Identify the five-step consumer decision-making process.
Basic Marketing Functions
1. Explain the marketing concept and describe the benefits of marketing.
2. Explain the functions in marketing goods and services.
3. Identify the elements of the marketing mix (product, price, place, and promotion).
4. Describe the process for new product and service development.
5. Explain the rationale for extending product line.
6. Explain the functions of packaging.
7. Describe the importance of branding, packaging, and labeling.
8. Describe factors (features, benefits, price, quality, competition, brand loyalty) used by marketers to position products and services.
9. Identify and explain factors that influence a product’s price (cost, quality, competition, brand loyalty).
10. Demonstrate knowledge of basic advertising terms.
Branding and Positioning
1. Explain why branding is important to the success of a business
2. Describe product positioning strategies.
Advertising Plan
1. Identify the steps in creating an advertising plan (perform a SWOT analysis, set advertising objectives, determine the budget, develp the creative strategy, execute the plan, evaluate the plan).
2. Recognize the various types of analyses that should be performed when creating an advertising plan.
Legal and Ethical Issues
1. Explain the need for government regulation of advertising and the role of the Federal Trade Commission.
2. Describe the purpose of other government regulatory agencies.
Diversity and Multicultural Market
Public Relations
1. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of advertising.
2. Explain the need for public relations.
Creation of the Advertisement
1. Describe different advertising creative formats.
2. Identify processes involved in the copywriting, art, and production stages of advertising.
3. Describe various methods used to evaluate advertising effectiveness.
4. Identify simple approaches to use in determining advertising effectiveness.
Consumer-Oriented Advertising
1. Define consumer-oriented advertising and explain how it is used.
2. Describe how sponsorships can be used to make a connection with consumers.
Financial Planning
1. Explain strategies used for setting the advertising budget (percentage of sales, competition matching market share, objective and task, response model).
2. Describe the financial reports a business can use for planning and operating the company.
3. Describe factors that affect the advertising budget.
4. Determine whether advertising spending generates brand awareness.
5. Identify the cost for different forms of advertising.
6. Explain the purpose of an advertising budget.
7. Explain rate of return on advertising investment.
Consumer Purchase Classifications
1. Distinguish between types of consumer purchases and recognize the level of consumer involvement in buying decisions.
2. Describe different types of consumer products.
Target Market
1. Define target market and advertising strategies to reach different targets.
2. Explain the process for selecting target markets.
Market Segmentation
1. Differentiate between market segmentation and mass marketing.
2. Describe market segmentation categories.
3. Define demographics.
4. Explain how demographics influence advertising campaigns.
5. Differentiate between buying habits and buying preferences.
6. Explain how to select market segments that have market potential.
Product Development
1. Identify the stages of new product development.
2. Explain the various levels of products and components that make up the product mix.
Product Life Cycle
1. Explain the stages of the product life cycle.
2. Describe real-world applications of the product life cycle.
Price Planning
1. Discuss pricing objectives used by businesses when setting prices.
2. Compare and contrast pricing strategies (price skimming, penetration pricing, competition pricing, supply and demand pricing).
Channels of Distribution
1. Explain the functions of the channel of distribution and channel members (producers, retailers, wholesalers, transportation companies, warehouses, agents and brokers, consumers).
2. Identify various distribution channel options (direct, indirect, multiple, nontraditional).
3. Describe the processes involved in supply chain management (purchasing, processing orders, warehousing and shipping, managing supply chain risks).
4. Identify factors that can influence supply chain decisions (international markets, outsourcing, digital distribution, eco-friendly practices).
5. Define logistics and explain its role in distribution.
6. Explain the importance of product storage, handling, and packaging in the distribution process.
Marketing Research
1. Explain the marketing research process (identify/define the problem, develop the research design, determine the method for collecting data, collect the data, analyze the data, report/present the data).
2. Describe the benefits and limitations of marketing research.
3. Define primary and secondary market research.
Effective Advertising and Promotional Messages
1. Explain the four C’s (comprehension, connection, credibility, contagiousness) of communication.
2. Describe how to create effective advertising messages.
Financing Advertising Campaigns
History and Influences
Advertising Industry and Careers
1. Explain how the advertising industry works.
2. Describe careers in the advertising industry.
3. Determine characteristics necessary for a successful career in advertising.
4. Identify the skill set needed for a successful advertising career.
Supply Chain Management
Distribution Logistics
1. Describe various types of internet advertising (e-mail, banner and pop-up advertising, search engine advertising, website advertising, blogs, social media advertising, Twitter).
2. Explain what factors businesses should consider when using internet advertising (hits, page views, visits, unique visitors).
1. Explain the concept of self-regulation and identify how it is applied in the advertising industry.
2. Recognize how consumers can regulate business practices.
1. Determine characteristics necessary for a successful career in advertising.
2. Identify the skill set needed for a successful advertising career.
Advertising Workplace
Leadership, Career Development, and Team Building
Risk Management


NBEA Standards
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Marketing
Career Clusters
  • Business Management & Administration
  • Marketing, Sales, & Service


States may submit up to 4 entries.
Competitors must be registered for NLC and pay registration fee.
Competitors must pay dues by 11:59 p.m. Eastern on April 1.


Test: 1 hour