Mary E. Gately has some advice for businesses on Inside Counsel:
The company should not embark on the litigation option lightly and should be prepared for backlash from consumers and customers for its decision to sue, which again must be managed through its social media platforms and other public relations efforts.
Given how the public may view these kinds of suits, companies should always pursue other ways of dealing with these kinds of comments and should view litigation as a last resort. Nevertheless, if the harm to reputation is great, a company should consider these suits as a way to address defamatory statements, particularly if the company suspects “guerrilla” tactics have been used by an aggressive competitor.
Read her full column on Inside Counsel.
I’d be curious to see an actual analysis/follow-up of how often such lawsuits actually help a business’s reputation or help restore it if it has been injured vs. how often the backlash just does more harm to it.