Professional Liability Insurance

Why you must have this insurance if you do any kind of advertising

The saying goes "it is not a matter of if, but when."  This saying is, unfortunately, very true when it comes to lawsuits and the ad industry.

Advertising of any kind, from a legal standpoint, is a high risk business.

Much of the time ads are created using celebrities, famous songs, or other pop culture items of the era — but with that comes complex contracts and usage rights with expiration dates.  Sometimes ads are created using the "likeness" of one of the above mentioned — so in that case do you still pay fees for the usage or do you roll the dice and try to save some coin? 

If you choose to roll the dice know this:

  1. The odds are against you.
  2. Don't expect the client to help you out in a lawsuit.
  3. The damages you may end up paying will make the usage rights look like a drop in the bucket.

What about running an ad with a "no name" model or actor whose usage rights you once had, but expired?  Safe right?  Just ask Nestlé (the owner of Taster's Choice®) and Russell Christoff (who was the original model for Taster's Choice in the early 80's).  Nestlé continued to use Mr. Christoff's photo on eight different labels in eighteen different counties after their rights on him expired.  The outcome — Mr. Christoff was awarded $15 million dollars (the case went to appeals and was settled for an undisclosed amount).

On top of these potential exposures, you have possible defamation (such as comparing competing products), or just straight up copyright infringement — and this is just the tip of the iceberg as the Internet has added a huge new layer of potential exposure.

Well, we are here to help.  Whether your agency is "full service" or specializing in digital media, social media, public relations, or media buying, we have the Professional Liability Insurance to protect your agency from both litigation costs and monetary damage awards. This type of Professional Liability Insurance is also called Errors and Omissions Insurance (E&O in insurance slang).


As a 4A's member you will receive an automatic 15% policy discount, and be eligible for a 5% "no claim discount" per year, up to a maximum of 25%.