The World Health Organization has now declared COVID-19 a pandemic, and as more businesses begin to face the impacts of quarantines and travel restrictions, they may find themselves managing unexpected legal risks. Among those are risks related to communications with customers by sales and marketing functions.
Those businesses hardest hit in the initial stages of the crisis — e.g., cruise lines, airlines and hotels — quickly face pressures that raise the risks of private litigation and government enforcement in connection with sales and marketing efforts. For example, what assurances should sales representatives give in response to inquiries about the chances of contracting the virus in connection with the use of a product or service? What information should be provided about safety measures being taken? Do sales commission and incentive programs exacerbate the risks of non-compliant responses, and should they be suspended?