Home – New Forums Marketing mastery Using someone elses property for your marketing.

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  • #983952
    alliedib
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    Hi Everyone,

    This weekend I visited a town and came across a council-owned building that had been recently fire damaged. The building was of particular significance as it is was the occupied by one of my target markets and I took a few photos as I thought it could be a good marketing piece down the track (I know, I should be there relaxing but unfortunately the work brain kicked in…).

    Does anyone know what the rules are regarding the usage of someone elses property for your own commercial benefit? I intend to contact the relevant council to see their policy (if they have one) but was wondering if anyone else had had a similar experience and any tips they could pass on.

    Also, if I am able to use the images, which do you think would be the better strategy (assuming either are permissable):

    – using the photo as a generic image (ie removing the indentifiers so the audience sees a damaged building but doesn’t know where it is); or
    – keeping the photo as is, with a caption below so that the audience can relate to the damage in regards to their own business eg: ‘Smithtown Building – built in 2000 and destroyed by fire in 2012’.
    My target market will be both (a) areas near this town and (b) other areas of the country.

    Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated :) .

    Mark

    #1145066
    themobilebillboardco
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    Hi Mark,

    This is really a grey area and I’d perhaps suggest talking to a copyright lawyer who might be able to give you some advice, at least, regarding your liability should you upset someone in the process.

    The thing is – photography is such a grey area. You could probably take a photo of the site and not run into trouble. Or you could sneakily sit your dog or car out the front and say you were taking a photos of your dog/car and the building was just in the back ground.

    It really is an ambigious area.

    However… image is everything.

    I’d say at least you wouldnt want to come across as opportunistic. No doubt, someone is emotionally affected by the damage this fire has caused.

    You’d be using this, to some degree, to leveradge your business – and if you werent the insurer who was contracted… really, its to some degree none of your business.

    So just be careful. There are 1000’s of images of fire damage buildings or stock photos available you could use for a small one of fee.

    Regards

    #1145067
    alliedib
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    Thanks for your feedback.

    I actually spoke to the Council involved and they were a lot easier to deal with than expected. They said that they were happy for me to use the photos, providing they were ‘de-identified’ (which is what will happen) and they sign off on them. Furthermore they were happy to work with me and the affected organisation as a ‘case study’ highlighting the importance of having insurance cover. I have quite a few friends in the organisation affected so their needs are being respected.

    The reason I want to use this building is that it is well known by my target market and creates more of a ‘call to action’ than a stock photo from the internet. Most have visited it or aware of it and by using it there may be a breaking down of the ‘it will never happen to me’ attitude that I find happens with a lot of similar organisations.

    Obviously I intend to make some sales from this marketing campaign but it also is being used to try and highlight the issue of non-insurance and underinsurance for my market – something I am passionate in. If just one policy is taken out (even if not through me but because of my campaign) then it is well worth it.

    Regards,

    Mark

    #1145068
    themobilebillboardco
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    Good luck Mark…

    As i said, its a grey area and as such… one that I think will bring a whole new round of legislation as we move more and more to being an “online” community.

    Its a weird thought isnt… that to some degree, you can almost go and take a photo of anything… and use it how you wish! Even if you don’t own it!

    But as I said… just make sure you tick the right boxes. An enquiry with your lawer or someone in this field might give you just a bit more confidence, rather than “talking to someone at council”.

    And good luck… while I don’t know the particulars, just make sure you don’t use the negative of a place burning down into an opportunistic approach for your business

    JR

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