Misappropriation of Likeness
Errors and Omissions
ADVERTISING AGENCY - MISAPPROPRIATION OF LIKENESS
A Mountain States advertising agency and its client were sued for printed advertisements which featured private individuals pictured in contexts which were known to be associated with well known public figures of the same name. A basketball player sued the ad agency and its client. Even though the person pictured in the ad was in fact a private individual who had the identical name of the basketball star, the star/plaintiff alleged that the advertisement was trading off of his name and his right of publicity. The case was eventually settled for an amount in the mid six figures, including attorneys' fees.
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ADVERTISING AGENCY - INTRUSION
A Midwestern advertising agency was sued for intrusion and errors and omissions due to the fact that it used an incorrect "800" number in an advertising campaign for the intended client, and instead provided the "800" number of an unrelated dental products company. The dental products company made a claim against the advertising agency for damages resulting from the intrusion and tying up of its toll-free number. The case was eventually settled for an average amount, with legal fees approximately one third of the total loss.
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ADVERTISING AGENCY - COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT
An East Coast advertising agency and its client were sued by a photographer when a magazine advertisement that it had produced for its client was alleged to be a copyright infringement of a photograph taken by the plaintiff. Plaintiff claimed that the advertising was nearly identical to his photomontage. Because potential damages under the federal copyright statute were in the $200,000 to $300,000 range, the case was settled for a large amount, not including attorneys' fees.
A West Coast advertising agency was sued for copyright infringement concerning music that was used in a television commercial produced for its client. Although the music in the commercial was an original composition, a few notes of the music sounded similar to a rock band's song. The plaintiffs claimed that they had attained worldwide fame for their musical and artistic integrity, and that they had resisted any commercial use of their songs. The case was settled before trial for a very large amount.
An advertising agency on the West Coast was sued due to its use of a photograph, which the plaintiff alleged was without permission and in violation of plaintiff's copyright. The plaintiff sued for some eight causes of action including copyright infringement. The plaintiff filed a motion for preliminary injunction. The case settled. Legal fees represented approximately two thirds of the loss.
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ADVERTISING AGENCY - TRADEMARK INFRINGEMENT
A Midwestern advertising agency was sued for $1,000,000 on the basis of alleged trademark infringement, unfair competition, false designation of origin, and related causes of action. The case was eventually settled for approximately half a million dollars, including legal fees.
A Midwest advertising agency was sued for alleged trademark infringement due to an advertisement it developed which utilized a protected trademark of a small company known only within a limited geographic area. The ads ran nationwide. The advertisement featured a fictitious Chairman of the Board sitting in front of his management team discussing its product line and deficiencies therein. Behind the fictitious Chairman of the Board was the name of the company, a similar name to plaintiff's, which was the alleged trademark infringement. The actual business in question sued for trademark infringement and requested injunctive relief. Because of a concern for statutory penalties and legal fees, the case was settled quickly for an above average sum to avoid even larger legal fees.
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ADVERTISING AGENCY - ERRORS AND OMISSIONS
A national advertising agency was sued by its client, which manufactured hardware-related products and machines for use in the home, when the promotional spots during a major advertising campaign were for the wrong product. The client of the insured claimed that it had lost seasonal profits as a result. The case eventually settled for a large amount. Legal fees were approximately one fifth of the total amount.
An advertising agency in the Midwest was sued by its client because the advertisement scheduled to run on network television was run on local cable instead. The advertiser asserted that the mistake had come at a critical time in its advertising campaign and had resulted in a large discrepancy in value received. The case was settled by payment of a great deal of money. Legal fees were fairly modest since the case settled relatively quickly.
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*These claims are examples of those encountered in the types of businesses insured under AXIS PRO's Media Liability Plus Program.
Some are claims we've handled; in others, we were not directly involved. Coverage for these claims is not to be inferred from this list but must always be determined in reference to a particular insurance policy, which is the controlling document, as well as the facts and circumstances of each claim and applicable law.