About 18 months ago I completed a brochure design for an old client. I added a few spreads of it as mockups to my online portfolio. The booklets contain text written by my client — helpful information for their potential customers — and for them to be given out in their stores.
I've recently had an email from my client saying that they found it on my portfolio through a Google search (for their company name) and has asked for it to be taken down. Saying that the text is 'confidential' and they are unhappy that it is being shown online where their competitors could see it.
At no point did my client tell me (until now) that the text was confidential or that they didn't want me listing it as a portfolio item. Had they got me to sign an NDA beforehand then I would have happily complied (albiet most likely with billing extra money).
Not only that, the body copy in my portfolio piece is barely even legible... you probably could make it all out if you really tried but it would take a lot of effort. The headings and intro paragraphs are legible but this of course accounts for the minority of the text... also the photography is all stock photos.
The way I see it, the design is my IP, but the content is probably that of the client. But surely they should have told me this upfront?
I'm thinking I'll at least remove the client's company name from my portfolio so their competitors don't find it in search results, and maybe just blur out the body copy some more?