SWG PL: Media/Multimedia – PL For PR

Dec 2020

SWG PL: Media/Multimedia – PL For PR

Public relations consultants wear many hats. From brand management, to media management, to event management, PR agencies assume ownership over multiple facets of their clients’ corporate identity and public image. With so much going on, it’s hard to keep track of it all, which is why the risk of a mistake is a big concern for these professionals. And, of course, PR consultants put the reputation of their clients on the line as well as their own. If the consultant makes a mistake, the client will expect recompense.

With an industry-savvy broker on their side, PR consultants can side-step unpleasant surprises and major expenses that can come with unintentional errors, omissions, and other mistakes that can contribute to financial losses for the client – and potentially lead to a lawsuit.

A Common Hazard: Cases Of Copyright Infringement

It’s surprisingly easy to commit copyright infringement in the age of social media. We’ve seen, for instance, an online retailer sued for copying someone’s Twitter post and printing it on their t-shirts (1). Similarly, a company could be sued for using in their campaigns or website someone else’s broadcasts, images, videos, or social posts.

PR consultants are entrusted with their client’s brands and reputation, and so they are careful about the media they use when representing their clients in marketing and PR collateral and promotional events.

According to the Government of Canada website, copyright lasts up to 50 years after the calendar year in which the subject-matter was produced. Works such as literary pieces or music have copyright lasting up to 50 years after the year in which the author/artist dies. (2)

But copyright infringement and plagiarism are not all PR consultants have to watch out for.

Other Key Exposures For PR Consultants

A PR consultant’s professional exposures include the following:

  • Financial loss due to insured negligence. For example, a missed deadline on a press release or marketing blitz causes the delay of a product launch, resulting in the client being unable to take advantage of a holiday shopping season.
  • The client alleges that the consultant gave incorrect strategic advice, or designed an inefficient communication strategy that resulted in financial loss.
  • A PR consultant’s improper fact verification and lack of careful research leads to misleading information errors in business advice or investment advice.
  • A PR agency’s lack of careful research and fact-checking leads to errors in content produced by that agency.
  • An employee of a PR consultancy sells confidential information, such as information about the client or data collected from market research, to other firms.
  • Libel, defamation, or misstatements and negligent misrepresentation of the client.
  • Invasion of privacyand breach of confidentiality.

SWG’s Professional Liability Coverage Tailor-Made For PR Consultants

SWG PL – Media/Multimedia Liability insurance is designed for publishers, broadcasters, and other media-related firms. The policy can be written on a claims-made form or occurrence basis and offers protection from claims arising from alleged defamation, invasion of privacy, infringement of copyright and trademark, plagiarism and errors or omissions arising from the content produced by media companies.

Coverage highlights:

  • Coverage is offered on an occurrence or claims made basis
  • Media Liability including Content Errors and Omissions (E&O) coverage
  • All-Risk approach opens coverage to possible future liability theories
  • Emotional distress carve-back on BI/PD exclusion
  • Media coverage, including media entities and activities
  • Definition of claim includes monetary damages, non-monetary relief or injunctive relief
  • Media wrongful acts including; defamation, invasion of privacy, emotional distress, wrongful entry, false arrest, harassment, breach of confidentiality, copyright and trademark infringement, deceptive trade practices, conspiracy
  • Definition of matter includes, advertising, art, blogging, creative expression, data, entertainment, film, facts, fiction, graphics, information, literary composition, music, news, photographs, pictures, opinions, sound recordings, video, web-site
  • Definition of loss includes; coverage for punitive, exemplary or multiplied damages to the fullest extent permitted by law

Visit the SWG PL: Media/Multimedia product page for more details.

Content is current as of the date of broadcast and is subject to change without notice.


  1. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/01/fashion/frank-ocean-panorama-t-shirt-greenbox.html
  2. https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/cipointernet-internetopic.nsf/eng/h_wr02281.html#understandingCopyright