Advertising and marketing your business

Principal Lawyer - Harwood Andrews Lawyers

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What you call yourself, your website, its imagery and the packaging  you use is vital to your brand – its also a rich source of problems if you don’t get it right.

Make sure you’re not treading on someone else’s intellectual property (IP) when you come up with your great branding idea.

Before locking in a name or brand, check if the domain name and trade mark is already taken (locally and globally).  Check copyright in images and existing registered and unregistered trademarks before you spend money on printing!

Advertising and selling practices have evolved from traditional print media, television or a shop front, to email, social media, apps, online shopping sites, price comparison sites, review platforms and search engines.  The two fundamental rules for advertising and marketing are that you must not:

  1.  engage in conduct that is likely to mislead or deceive; or
  2. make false or misleading claims or statements.

The key question to ask is whether the overall impression created by conduct or a statement is false or inaccurate.

Be aware:

  • You’ll need to register a business name when you want to trade under something other than your legal entity name.
  • Registering a business name does not mean you get trademark protection
  • Consult an IP expert if you’re in doubt about your brand
  • use of the word ‘free’, and claims of premium attributes (such as ‘no additives’), or claims that go to health or environmental benefits, country or place of origin need to be accurate and substantiated

The law applies to claims made about products and services in an online environment as well as in physical advertising

Paul Gray

Principal Lawyer - Harwood Andrews Lawyers

Paul brings experiences as in-house counsel, private legal advisor and business owner to his role as a Principal Lawyer with Hardwood Andrews.

Aligning with his philosophy that good professional advice can be transformative to business Paul is valued for distilling issues down to what is really important and being prepared to make a risk call based on judgement and experience.

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