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Sam
Sam, Attorney at Law
Category: Legal
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Experience:  More than 20 years of experience practicing law.
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I have a website like trip advisor or yelp with advertising

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I have a website like trip advisor or yelp with advertising on each business page. Some of the advertising is obviously for the competition. Just try it. One of my customers is threatening to sue me for putting a competitor's ad on their page. I think it's ridiculous. It is, right? Otherwise, Google, Yelp, Trip Advisor etc. would all be guilty. The public can't tell me what I can and can not advertise, as long as I'm not slandering them (we have a "no negative advertising" rule)
Hi

It will depend on what your contract says with the page owners. If it explains that ads for other companies including competitors might run then it is the contract.

But absent such a caveat it may appear the page owner was under the impression the page would be dedicated to them only. And in that case, I suggest, you could be sued and may want to consider just removing that ad and then revamping your contracts for the future.

Please note that if you need more information, you can use the Reply to Expert to Continue the Conversation. Otherwise, I would appreciate positive ratings so that I get credit for my time and information. This will NOT close your question. It will remain active for future follow ups.

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Thank you.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
we don't even have a contract similar to how yelp and trip advisor don't have contracts on the businesses they list, as I said in my initial question
Hi

Apologies, I do not see where you state in your original post that you have no contract with your customers. If you have no contract, then it is possible they can sue you because you have no protection that you did not explain the page would not be exclusive with no competion

I do suggest, however, that you will want to consider a contract for the future

Please note that if you need more information, you can use the Reply to Expert to Continue the Conversation. Otherwise, I would appreciate positive ratings so that I get credit for my time and information. This will NOT close your question. It will remain active for future follow ups.

If you cannot see where to Rate me, please let me know so I can report it to the administrators of the site.

Thank you.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
We're still missing it here. Please go to yelp, put in a business name, go to their page and see the competition on their page. There is no contract. It is only "their page" because Yelp set it up that way for the search results. Just like Trip Advisor etc. The only reason for the page is to show the search results. It's not really "their" page, it's our page with their info. I hope this clarifies this. I should have been more explicit in my initial question. I thought the reference to yelp and trip advisor would make it simple. My mistake.
Hi

So you are not selling this person who wants to sue you any space on Your pages?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
That is correct. He doesn't want to buy the space on "his" page. So we will sell it to somebody else and he will sue me, he says, if I do that. He can't tell me who I can sell advertising to on my site, can he?

Again, just do the Yelp thing. You will see what I'm talking about. Thank you
Hi

That is correct. You cannot be sued if he does not want to buy the page for his business. And he cannot dictate to you who you then sell it to. I am not sure how he figures he has a right and that he owns that page.

So you are listing the restaurants, etc in a certain area and then selling ads to competitors or listing others long with this person's business. He would have no recourse against you.


Please note that if you need more information, you can use the Reply to Expert to Continue the Conversation. Otherwise, I would appreciate positive ratings so that I get credit for my time and information. This will NOT close your question. It will remain active for future follow ups.

If you cannot see where to Rate me, please let me know so I can report it to the administrators of the site.

Thank you.
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