What is a Marketing Expert Witness?

G. Wiesen

A marketing expert witness is a person who offers his or her services to attorneys and other legal professionals as a witness to assist them in cases on which they are working. He or she will typically be an expert in marketing, often with professional and educational experience in marketing and business. This type of witness is usually hired by an attorney when precise and extensive knowledge about marketing may be necessary to help in a case, usually a civil case. A marketing expert witness may be employed as a professor at a university or work in the marketing and advertising industries, and he or she may also have specific knowledge about a specialized aspect of business and marketing.

Knowledge of law is not typically required of marketing expert witnesses.
Knowledge of law is not typically required of marketing expert witnesses.

Marketing is the process by which businesses are able to make a name for themselves and spread knowledge of the products or services they offer to potential customers. It can often go hand-in-hand with advertising and is a major part of sales and competition among businesses. A marketing expert witness is typically someone who has extensive knowledge of marketing and marketing practices, and who is willing or able to testify in court hearings on such matters.

While a marketing expert witness may have some knowledge of law, often business or advertising law, it is not typically required for such witnesses. The reputation of a marketing expert witness may be called into question, however, so it is often best if a witness is chosen who has a background of responsible and ethical business conduct. He or she is likely to work in advertising or business in general, and may also be a business teacher, both of which often serve to establish his or her credentials as an expert. The types of cases such a witness may be called upon to testify in can vary greatly, and may include situations involving unfair competitive practices, illegal use of proprietary knowledge by advertising campaigns, or unethical marketing practices.

A marketing expert witness will typically have a deep but general knowledge of marketing and business, but may also be a specialist in a particular aspect of the field. Such specialties can include market research, product development and testing, promotions, media relations, and customer behavior. Since most of these areas usually cover business and financial matters, a marketing expert witness is typically called upon for civil cases. It is possible, however, that a criminal case involving fraudulent business practices could also involve this sort of witness.

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