2 Clients in 1 Industry = Conflict?

Ilise Benun on your online marketing planIs it a conflict to work with two clients in the same industry?

That question was posed recently by Henry Alpert, from Action Copy, on the CFC LinkedIn Group:

He wrote:

“I am in the midst of working on a project for one company, and another company in the same segment has asked me to do very similar work for them … I think it’s OK to have clients in the same industry. That’s what specializing is all about. But I sense there are some ethical and professional pitfalls to watch out for in this situation. Any insights?”

Veteran freelance copywriter, Bob Bly also addressed this issue in his recent post Can you work for your clients’ competitors?

Here’s what I say: If it’s a conflict, then specializing hasn’t a leg to stand on! Actually, is rarely a problem unless they are very large companies or very proprietary (or paranoid). The key, as with everything, is communication and knowing when to say what. Sometimes it’s better to let everyone know what you’re working on and other times it’s better to keep it to yourself.

What do you think?