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January 14th, 2007, 04:34 PM #1Affiliate's Liability?
I just wanted to ask this question since I am thinking of creating another site. I have never had a site that displays products that are for a more personal nature such as skin care, etc. My question is just what, if any, liabilities do we as affiliates have in situations like this.
What if someone becomes ill from using one of the products and sues the company that they purchased from. Do they have any legal way to also come after me?
I definitely plan on having the typical disclaimer (all products are purchased from the actual merchant, etc, etc) but it that enough?
January 14th, 2007, 06:11 PM #2
I remember thinking about this when I started affiliate marketing, but couldn't find any instance of an affiliate being sued for any product related problem. Affiliates are basically just an advertising medium (if someone got sick from a fast food burger, would they sue the billboard co. that advertised it?)
On the other hand, anybody can be sued for about any reason. An affiliate that lies or exaggerates about a product might be asking for trouble.
Some people will say, form an LLC and that will solve all your worries. (not sure about that).
I'm not a lawyer.... better to ask one to be sure. )
January 14th, 2007, 07:19 PM #3
I am of the personal opinion that NO form of business (Scorp, Ccorp, LLC) will save you from being personally liable. It is very easy for another company to decide to sue your company and you personally.
I don't believe honest affiliates hold any liability at all .
January 14th, 2007, 08:22 PM #4Originally Posted by patrick24601
In this case, if you are personally named in the suit, unless you were doing anything criminal or fraudulent, you'd be able to state that you were working in your formal capacity as an 'employee' of the corp, and hence the liability shifts from you.
But like simcat said, "I'm not a lawyer.... better to ask one to be sure."
January 15th, 2007, 12:10 PM #5
If someone gets hurt using a product, who is going to be sued? Any lawyer will go for the "deep pockets" and that probably isn't you! This isn't really legal protection, but the corporation is more likely to be sued than the affiliate IMO.Jason Rosenbaum
January 15th, 2007, 01:49 PM #6
If you saw an ad for widgets on tv and one hurt you during normal use, would you sue the tv network? Even if you saw it on a daytime talk show and they said they love widgets so you should buy one, would you sue them?
Seems to me you should be safe, but just for peace of mind maybe you should consult an attorney if you feel apprehensive about the issue.
January 15th, 2007, 10:56 PM #7
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Those using unethical, or over-hyped and misleading Ad copy, as to healthcare, weight loss and beauty products fall under the truth in advertising laws. If your going to be a sleazy Adwhore it's best to get a monthly Health Clinic certificate showing your free of any infectious diseases. Post it on your site like those other worthless purchased ethical Certificates. Charlie should be selling a Ad-nausium cure-all elixer at B-a-HO.com with just one disclaimer... don't use if your suffer from stupidity, or your credit card is maxed out!Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie
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January 16th, 2007, 12:37 AM #8
My thoughts on this and yes it is waaaay out there lol....If you were displaying a product on your site with your own suggested use for that product, then it could possibly be a problem.
I am going to use Preparation H as an example. It is clearly intended for hemorrhoid symptoms, but some people are using it as trick to remove wrinkles and puffiness around their eyes.
Lets say that you post an affiliate link to a tube of Prep H, your blurb goes into the use of that product around and under the eyes to remove wrinkles and puffiness.
Granted the person that bought into the concept based on your suggestion may not have made the best of choice. But if they went blind and sued, then you would probably be the one they would hunt down. (now if they win or not is a different story) The buyer wouldn't go after the makers of Preparation H because Prep H didn't do anything wrong.
January 16th, 2007, 05:42 AM #9
As has been noted above, lawyers will usually go for the "deep pockets". Even if you will incorporate into some sort of form, I guess that the better target would be still the company with the most funds. However, a caselaw system, such as in the US, is a tricky thing. There always is a potential for judicial law-making. Therefore, consult a lawyer.
February 13th, 2007, 01:22 AM #10
The risk of being sued if something goes afoul with the product you are promoting will always be there. But, on the part of the litigator, will it pay to sue a small fish like an intermediary? - nope I dont think so! They would tend to go after the Merchants. Hardly would they look at the link that directed them to Merchant.
But, of course, this is my personal opinion on the matter on hand (not that it matters much).
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