What New Business Owners Need to Know about Advertising Injury


If you’re new to owning and operating a business, advertising may come as a challenge, especially if you don’t have a team of advertising experts. Before you start marketing your new business, you need to understand the advertising laws—and the consequences of making errors.

Fortunately, general liability insurance covers many types of advertising errors. Having a policy protecting you when your business makes a mistake can make the difference of one advertising mistake, putting you out of business or not.

Advertising Injury and General Liability Insurance

When your business is accused of breaking various types of advertising laws, having the right general liability insurance is essential to keeping your company protected. Libel, slander, and copyright infringement are all covered in some general liability insurance policies.

Understanding Errors and Injury

While having general liability insurance is essential, it’s also necessary to know and understand advertising law, including the different offenses. By knowing what each offense is, you’ll be better prepared to protect yourself and prevent causing damages that will result in you having to use your general liability policy.

  • Libel – If you’ve been accused of damaging a person or another companies reputation by something you’ve produced visually, that is considered libel. Libel is defamation of another by the written word or any other visual means. Blog posts, news articles, magazines, sculptures, and more can all be used to commit libel, and if you’re not protected, a lawsuit can make a severe impact on the future of your business.
  • Slander – Slander is similar to libel, but while libel is defamation by the written word, slander is defamation through spoken words. Radio, television, and video are all ways that slander can be committed. It’s critical to know how far it is too far when talking about competitors and try not to speak badly about any person or business. When slander is committed, it can be a tough situation for any business to recover from. Finding a good general liability insurance policy is vital to keep your business protected.
  • Copyright Infringement – Copyright infringement is when you use or produce copyright-protected material. Most creative content is copyright protected for a set amount of time. When a third party uses this material without the consent of its creator, copyright infringement occurs. It’s important to give credit and receive permissions for all creative work your business wants to use for advertisement purposes. Understanding this law is critical for any marketing campaign.
  • Misappropriation of Advertising Ideas – Similar to copyright infringement, you can also face legal trouble if you are accused of using other companies advertising ideas for your own businesses’ benefit and financial gain. This is considered misappropriation and intellectual property theft. This can be a complicated law to follow, so it’s essential to focus on every detail of your marketing strategy. A misappropriation lawsuit can make a serious impact, and its important to ensure you’re not stealing other companies’ ideas when working on your advertising strategies.

Insurance Coverage for False Advertising

Some general liability insurance policies may cover cases of false advertising, but this isn’t standard. If it’s something you’re concerned about, you need to seek a plan that explicitly includes coverage for false advertising.

False advertising is when a business is accused of making false claims about their product. While many insurance companies will cover various advertising law stages, some insurance companies won’t cover false advertising. It’s essential to review every policy before you commit to one, to ensure you get the policy that works best for you and your business.

How to Avoid Advertising Injury Claims

It’s important when your business works on its advertising strategy to be as thorough as possible. You can avoid many mistakes by choosing a proper advertising agency to work on your advertising campaigns or ensuring your employees are diligent and focus on every detail when working on your advertisements.

Choosing the Policy for You

No one wants to get stuck with a lawsuit. These things do happen, though. It is important for the wellbeing of your business to be protected. Getting a proper general liability insurance policy can make a world of difference and be the reason your business remains open or has to close its doors. When a bad situation occurs, being protected is the best way to ensure your business’s future.

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