When you advertise your company, you must be careful about what you say. If you claim that your product or service can do something it can't (or even imply that it can do something it can't), you could be responsible if your claim fails. But this isn't the only thing you need to be aware of. While advertising injury often has coverage under general liability insurance, it's not the end to all means.
Here's more about what advertising injury is and how you can use it.
So Much To Say
Most businesses face stiff competition these days. When you're trying to attract people, it might seem like a worthwhile advertising strategy to compare yourself to your biggest rival and highlight that you do things better.
But if you do this in such a way that disparages another business, then your target could sue you for any real or perceived loss of revenue due to your advertisement. These kinds of claims can become very complicated because there are legal rules that put specific conditions on claims made under advertising injury.
But generally, if you can prove that you were telling the truth and you didn't violate any other terms of your coverage, then you can use general liability to defend yourself against an advertising injury claim. Coverage might also help you pay some or all of the claim's settlement in case you do have to compensate the affected party.
Playing It Safe
When it comes to advertising, everything you should say should be both original and truthful. You should also be able to back it up by verifiable evidence.
You might think that you're using someone else's logo as inspiration before putting your own twist on it. But the original company could easily sue you for trademark infringement. Your advertising injury coverage will generally only cover you if you've made a good-faith effort that another party misinterpreted. If you're hesitant about a certain marketing campaign, slogan, or image, it's probably a good sign that you should switch up your strategy. There are also certain disclaimers that you can use to free yourself of liability, in a few conditions.
Of course, even the most careful business owners can still land themselves in hot water. For example, two people can easily come up with the same idea independently of each other. Or both might have a legitimate claim to their side of the story. Having the right general liability insurance can keep businesses alive while everyone works out the facts.
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