Trade Libel and Small Businesses: What You Need to Know to Stay Protected 3

Trade Libel and Small Businesses: What You Need to Know to Stay Protected

Does your business use social media or digital marketing to spread your message? If so, you could be at risk of a trade libel suit.

What is Trade Libel?

Trade libel is any communication — oral or written — that says false things about another company’s products or services. Let’s look at a few examples of how various businesses could get sued for trade libel.

Examples of Possible Trade Libel

  • A landscaper creates a post on social media shaming a competitor for using toxic chemicals and suggesting that people use their company, instead.
  • A hair salon hires a marketing agency, and later posts a 1-star review slamming the agency for not getting their website onto the first page of search engine results.
  • A business consultant gives a presentation to a local Chamber of Commerce, using another company as a case study on poor business practices.
  • A financial analyst writes a blog claiming that a certain company is a risky investment because of acts its leadership has committed.

Protecting Your Business From Trade Libel

The best way to avoid trade libel is to avoid making false statements about other businesses. Follow these two rules to stay protected:

  • Do not let staff members use the names of companies or people without your permission.
  • Make sure everything that you communicate publicly—including on social media—is backed up by clear evidence.

Contact your independent insurance agent today to learn what is and isn’t covered under a general liability policy.