It’s come to our attention that your attractive blond female spokesmodel has certain … umm … femine hygene issues. In a word, “Eeeww Yuck!” File under: More info than I needed to know.
One reason companies investing in their corporate image, and spending big bucks designing and placing ads in both print and web should consider Rights Managed (RM) vs. Royalty Free (RF).
If this photo had been RM, then either company could have sent out a request via an agency asking for the license history, and know exactly who else used or is using the same photo. True, each could have bought this as RM on a non-exclusive basis, and had the same outcome. The point is that with RM, that history, and exclusivity CAN be researched or acquired. With RF Images (Which I believe this image is most likely) there is simply no way to know who else is using the same image your about to spend big media dollars. But with the lure of a cheap RF license… well, ya just never know. Save a few dollars on a photo, but potentially waste thousands more if such an embarrasing use tarnishes all the valuable ads your company bought and paid for.
Read more about the Dangers of using Royalty Free in the Commercial Marketplace (with more examples).