Solicitation Is Not Advertising

What constitutes a covered “advertising injury” in a Commercial General Liability (CGL) policy is one of the hot spots of insurance coverage litigation these days. In Imaging Alliance Group, LLC v. American Economy Ins. Co., 2006 WL 145428 (D. Minn. January 19, 2006), the court found that an insurer had no duty to defend a lawsuit against its insured, when the defendant company allegedly recruited another business’ employees and solicited its customers.
The standard definition of “advertising injury” in a CGL is injury (1) arising out of misappropriation of advertising ideas or (2) infringement of copyright, title or slogan. The district court followed other recent decisions, including the influential and well-written Hameid v. National Fire Ins. of Hartford, 31 Cal.4th 16 (2003), in holding that solicitation is distinct from advertising. Solicitation is a more or less individualized effort, while advertising requires widespread promotion to the public.

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