Explosions and Dollar Signs

| August 20, 2010 | Comments (0)

If you own a TV, drive down the highway or listen to the radio, you have more than likely come to the realization that tasteless attorney advertising is not only a reality but an epidemic.  Almost anything is possible when it comes to attorney advertising and marketing.

This far-fetched cartoon is, like most comics, inspired by real life problems and situations.

Unlike some cartoons, the commentary this cartoon is making is plain as day.

Tasteless and intrusive attorney advertising is doing major damage to the image of plaintiffs’ lawyers everywhere.

That is a problem.

Present day attorney advertising is often intrusive, featuring threatening and vengeful imagery.  Any simple search on YouTube will turn up hundreds of tasteless ads featuring switchblades, explosions, hammers, explosions, cheesy computer graphics, bulldogs and EXPLOSIONS.

Many of these ads utilize money and revenge as motivating factors; abandoning references to justice or accountability.  The imagery motivates by fear, often showing an attorney standing in front of a poorly executed graphic of car wrecks, fires and other threatening situations.  Gone are the appeals to reason or to dignity and expertise.

Sure, these ads leave a lasting impression.  Check many of these out online and you will see viewer counts that reach well past 50,000.  But if you read the comments you will see just what kind of damage they are doing – not only to the attorneys who use these ads, but to the entire legal profession as well.

Some examples-

“Is it law in America that every lawyer ad has to be absolutely terrible? Honestly, if anything these ads put me off of purchasing their company’s services.”

“This commercial makes me want smash my head open on the fireplace every time it comes on.”

This type of advertising is embarrassing for trial lawyers and only serves to reinforce stereotypes that paint us as ambulance chasers, vampires – you name it.

The truth is, the vast majority of plaintiffs’ attorneys genuinely seek to protect individuals’ rights by holding insurance companies, corporations and others responsible for their unsafe, greedy or negligent actions.  I became a personal injury attorney because I saw how the deck is stacked against individuals and consumers and I dedicated my life to accountability and justice.  I don’t think my story is that much different for most of my colleagues either.

U.S. District Court Judge Frederick J. Scullin recently had this to say about tasteless, aggressive and predatory advertising by attorneys, “Without question there has been a proliferation of tasteless, and at times obnoxious, methods of attorney advertising in recent years.”

Because of this, he continued, “the public perception of the legal profession has been greatly diminished.”

There are other options for reaching potential clients, and they work!   Advertising doesn’t have to rely on scare tactics and appeals to greed.  They don’t have to shout through a TV or show pictures of explosions and wrecks.

One of the strategies we employ is informative websites.  We have made the choice to depart from the industry standard and let the client come to us.

We do this by utilizing social media, search engine optimization and most importantly, blogging and writing helpful articles.  We try to provide as much helpful and enlightening information as possible and hope that this will build an expert relationship with potential clients.

It’s not about yelling at them, scaring them, appealing to their greed or any of the other damaging tactics often used.  It’s about being professional and showing potential clients that you truly care and want to help – then you back that up by providing them with expert, aggressive representation.  Anybody can stand in front of a green screen explosion – it’s whether or not you can stand in front of a jury and secure the decision that your client deserves.  This is a true measure of success for an attorney.

I don’t want this to be misconstrued as me saying attorneys that employ these tactics aren’t great legal minds, because many of them are excellent lawyers.  I just wish that they would take into account the image that is projected upon ALL plaintiffs’ lawyers next time they are standing in front of a green screen or blowing something up.

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Category: Legal Briefs

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