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Media and advertising – know your risks!

Ben Rose
11 October 2016
3 minute read

Are you a publisher, multimedia company, advertising agency, web developer, or direct marketing agency? Whatever avenue you specialise in within the tech and media world, you're always at risk of running into some obstacles that could result in legal disputes, PR crises, reputational damage, not to mention major financial losses.

Clients value your advice whether it's decisions on a new advertising campaign for their product or producing a price listing for their chain of restaurants, however, it doesn't always go to plan and your advice could cause detrimental reputation and/or financial loss for your client. This is why professional indemnity insurance is an essential part of helping to avoid claims against your business or at least minimise financial impact if a claim does occur. It is vital that you do not make the assumption that a claim will never happen, as you may one day be in for an unexpected shock.

Below are common places where claims can arise within this sector:

Intellectual property infringement

photo-1469503938793-ef4b8efdd244This can arise if you use third party materials such as images and music in content without having the appropriate permissions to do so. For example, let's say your company produced a piece of marketing collateral for a client using a photo that was sourced through google images by an intern. The ownership was overlooked and no one obtained the appropriate permissions to use the photo. Your client could be sued and, more often than not, this would result in your client taking legal action against you. Having appropriate cover would not only help save the relationship with the client, it could also support in containing the incident from damaging the reputation of both you and your client.

Refusal of payment

photo-1459257831348-f0cdd359235f-copyWhat if a client refuses to pay your fees due to a complaint about your service, dissatisfaction of your work or simply to avoid their contractual agreement by claiming negligence? Whether or not you did anything wrong this leaves you in a difficult situation, in need of legal support and potentially out of pocket as a result. If this ever arises, professional indemnity cover will ensure the financial shortfall and any legal expenses are fully covered.

Admin Errors


Human error is a fact of life, but incorrect data entry when booking events or campaigns can cause all sorts of problems. Imagine that you are producing a media buying campaign for a client which was meant to be published a week before Christmas, but was accidentally booked for the week after. Uh-Oh! With your client unhappy and unwilling to pay, that's big money lost. PI insurance would cover any compensation and legal costs in this situation.

Spelling mistakes

photo-1432888498266-38ffec3eaf0aSmall but deadly. Spelling mistakes, inaccurate pricing, typography/layout errors, or omission of vital information are little things that could cause massive damage to your reputation. This is an issue that we see frequently with our media and marketing clients but fortunately it can be recoverable if acted upon quickly. Professional indemnity insurance can help cover the costs of reprinting any materials and if the error isn't spotted in time, it can also cover any loss caused to your client as a result of the error.


photo-1453738773917-9c3eff1db985-copyThis is the act of damaging an individual or company's reputation through the use of libel or slander. Those most at risk are broadcasters and publishers, who are regularly publishing content, however as many companies now use social media and blogging sites to promote their business online, they are also at risk of receiving a claim of defamation. While some claimants use defamation law to constrain legitimate reporting and criticism, in other cases you may unintentionally defame someone. Therefore, to ensure you are safe you should always opt for professional indemnity insurance.

Now you are fully up to speed on the common risks your business could be facing, now is a good time to find out about professional indemnity insurance.

Read: Simple tips for freelancers on avoiding late payments

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