We’ve all seen them more times than we can count…television advertisements by personal injury lawyers. Lately, I’ve been wondering if it’s just my imagination, or if there are more of those ads on TV than usual. Well, a new study has just confirmed; it’s not my imagination.
According to a new report published by the US Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, the amount of money being spent on television ads by lawyers is growing faster than the amount of money spent on TV ads by any other industry in America.
The report, Trial Lawyer Marketing: Broadcast, Search and Social Strategies, estimates that in 2015 alone, TV ads by lawyers will total $892 million. In fact, their television ad spending grew six times faster than all other television ad spending during this period. The total for this year is 68% more than they spent in 2008.
Lisa Rickard, president of ILR, says:
“The plaintiffs’ bar orchestrates some of the most sophisticated and relentless marketing campaigns in our society.”
But it’s not just TV ads on which personal injury lawyers are spending their money. They’re also aggressively seeking clients on the Internet, social media and mobile devices. The report found that twenty-three of the top twenty-five Google key words linking ads to user searches are for personal injury law firms.
This spending reflects a major change in philosophy for lawyers. There was a time when they felt that the idea of buying advertising to promote their services was unseemly.
Those days are obviously long gone. Considering how often the American public is exposed to messages promoting litigation as the only option for resolving disputes, law schools and bar associations would do well to remember what Abraham Lincoln advised his fellow lawyers many years ago:
“Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser – in fees, expenses and waste of time.”
That may be a novel idea, but Lincoln’s advice is just as good today as it was when he was practicing law.