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I’m making a website and would like to add their logos to a “happy clients” section. I won't be including any of the work I did for them, just their logos.

  • It depends... if you are in EU there are certain laws that regulates intellectual property and copyright. For example I know that if you worked as employee for that company (for instance you had no VAT ID and did not produce invoices for payments received from that company), the intellectual property is owned by the company and you are not legally allowed to say anything about your productions unless the company gives you a written and signed permission. If you worked for that company as freelance, then you could. You should see in your country how it is the law about that. – Mario Apr 18 at 9:01
  • Related topic: freelancing.stackexchange.com/questions/6742/… – Mario Apr 18 at 9:06
  • You shouldn't list any of your clients or display their logo on your website or any other material unless you have their express permission to do so. – joeqwerty Apr 19 at 17:59
  • Additionally, these weren't your clients. These were clients of the marketing agency you worked for. Saying that you worked for them isn't entirely honest nor accurate. Listing them on your website implies that they are or were your direct clients, which they weren't. – joeqwerty Apr 20 at 15:07
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Yes, but it's all in how you phrase it.

When I was with [Marketing Company X], I assisted clients such as Nike, Reebok, Adidas, Puma.

vs.

I've worked with Nike, Reebok, Adidas, Puma.

While it's a fine line, and most won't really care. There is a different connotation if you were employed by someone and worked with clients compared to directly working with them.

It's not like there's a legal reason you need to disclose the employer you were with. It's more of a "don't lose the client's trust" type of thing. If they think you were directly working with Nike, then a month later they find out you were an employee of a company which worked with Nike, they can feel betrayed. But if that is disclosed upfront, there's no risk of betrayal feelings.

However, hyperbole can be viable tool for some. So it's really more you're call. I, personally, don't like to pretend I'm something I'm not. It avoids sticky situations later if the truth is uncovered.

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Also, as I didn't see it mentioned if you signed an NDA (non-disclosure agreement ) you could be in violation depending on the specifics. Such as type of work and length of time.

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