When companies are looking for photography for their website or brochure they face a few choices:
1) hire an assignment photographer for the shoot
2) use a rights-managed stock image where they can see who has used it before and buy and exclusive license if necessary
3) use royalty-free microstock
When the bill for the first two options might run to hundreds or thousands of pounds, it's not surprising that many are turning to microstock where they can license an image for their website for £10 or less.
Chris Barton has humorously outlined the perils of this approach on his blog. Well worth a look. Next time you have a company turn you down for an assignment, suggest they take a look too.