Some Restrictions Placed on Law Firm Ads
Law firm marketing can be incredibly difficult for players new to the game, as well as experienced lawyers trying to keep up with new developments. When looking at marketing, people try to balance the way everyone does it with the way it should be done. But what about the way it shouldn’t be done? There seems to be a lot of stigma about various types of advertising, and some of it is well-founded.
Some states have taken it upon themselves to assign seemingly random limitations on what can and can’t be said, written, or implied in print, radio, and television advertisements. Unfortunately for the law firms in those states, this list looks like a list of some good marketing ideas (and some terrible ones).
- New York has discussed banning pop-up ads on law firms’ websites. Surely, they’re only looking out for the consumer. “How dare this website ask if I’m interested in speaking to a human about this,” said no one.
- Florida bans certain sounds in radio and TV ads. Yes, Florida, your tax dollars went to a group of lawyers deciding which noises could be overly influential in law firm marketing.
- Certain states are looking into a “legal advertising review fee,” so law firms have to pay the state to review any video before it’s posted to YouTube.
- The Kentucky State Bar requires that monthly newsletters of law firms be submitted for review 30 days before print. Why the bar is favoring censorship over keeping clients informed and up to date is anyone’s guess.
These are only some of the specific problems that some law firms face in their marketing, but it’s more the idea that someone out there is trying to stop what could be successful marketing strategies for no real reason. The good news is that you can take the banned strategies and work them into legal strategies that work! Everyone wins until they outlaw any successful advertising.
Most attorneys start their firms assuming that being a really, really good attorney should, in and of itself, be a marketing advantage. Those attorneys believe that joining a whole bunch of committees and putting their name in lawyer directories is “marketing,” and they never bother to ask if there is a better way.
Attorneys are catching on, however, and those who succeed learn to leverage their current resources to create effective (and ethical) marketing. What they discover isn’t a magic pill or silver bullet but a different approach to marketing that your competitors haven’t considered.
by Ben Glass
Ben is a nationally recognized expert in attorney marketing and the owner of Great Legal Marketing.