Advertise Your Strengths Without Disparaging Your Competitors


Economic downturns tend to produce an increase in comparative advertising

campaigns. Meager sales revenues make it tempting to aggressively target the

competitor's business. Consumers enjoy watching advertisers take potshots at

each other. But a competitor whose weaknesses are targeted — not so much. A

competitor can choose to respond in kind or legally challenge the ad. If the ad

message is truthful and does not mislead or deceive consumers, then the

challenge is generally not difficult to rebuff. A recent court opinion suggests that

advertisers whose ads are challenged by competitors should look to commercial

liability policies for advertising injury coverage. It may be possible to cover legal

fees for defending ads challenged by competitors. Cynthia Blake Sanders of Ober|Kaler advises business to keep a careful eye on their marketing messages.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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