public realtions

Legal Issues For Public Relations Firms

Social media is evolving quickly and has become the premiere outlet and platform for marketing. With new forums come new challenges.  Public relations companies and marketing experts should be aware of the many potential legal issues and sources of potential liability when creating media campaigns, advertisements, blogs, or other marketing activities on behalf of their clients, which may include celebrities, entrepreneurs, artists, and established companies.  Public relations companies and the like should be cognizant and aware of the fact that litigation related to “social media” advertising is on the rise as rights holders seek to (a) protect their rights and (b) curb perceived instances of infringement.  We regularly advise public relations companies and marketing experts on a myriad of potential sources of liability based on a variety of issues, including: 
(1) Does your marketing campaign, including photographs and video, potentially infringe upon the trademark and/or copyright rights of a primary or secondary rights holder? 
(2) Can the comments made on behalf of your client and/or the client’s products be construed as “disparaging” or “unfair competition” by a competitor? 
(3) Have all necessary primary and ancillary rights related to the use of photographs and videos been secured?    
(4) Have all endorsements paid by individuals or companies been disclosed as mandated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)? 
Addressing these issues at the start of a project will avoid potential issues down the line.