Can I Use A Client’s Name or Picture In Advertising?

If you have a website for your business, you may have a testimonial section. This section will usually include quotes from clients along with their name and picture.

Using your client’s name or picture implicates their right of publicity. While right of publicity laws vary from state to state, the Massachusetts’ law is very clear:

Any person whose name…or picture is used within the commonwealth for advertising purposes…without his written consent may bring a civil action…to prevent and restrain the use thereof; and may recover damages for any injuries sustained by reason of such use.

If you’re going to use a client’s name, picture, or, in the case of a company, logo, make sure to get written consent before you post it. It will prevent an awkward phone call if they didn’t want to be featured on your site, and potentially fend off a lawsuit as well.