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Lawyer TV Ads Aren't Easy: NY Firm's Ad Has City Council Furious

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. | Last updated on

Lawyers get a lot of flack for commercial and radio shoots, with parts of the profession considering it sleazy, and other parts trying to reign in potential misrepresentation.

But lawyer advertisements are important to get the word out and help smaller firms and solo practitioners compete, which is why the New York firm Cellino & Barnes has made them a part of its marketing strategy.

Only now, instead of being scrutinized by the profession, the firm is getting some pushback from Buffalo's City Hall.

Buffalo's Majority Leader Richard A. Fontana became extraordinary peeved recently when he noticed that Cellino & Barnes' new commercial was filmed in council chambers, reports the Buffalo News.

The city doesn't permit the building to be used for commercials.

Turns out that a respected local filmmaker, who was hired to film the commercial, had a permit to shoot scenes for his own film and decided to fit the commercial into his schedule that day.

The city council wants the firm to pull the commercial, but they're refusing to.

"It's done very tastefully," the firm told the Buffalo News. "It promotes the city. It puts the city in a very positive light."

It also pointed out that the superintendant watched the shoot and did not object.

There's really no right or wrong response here, especially since the firm didn't set out to deceive city leaders and likely didn't choose the shooting location.

What do you think? Should Cellino & Barnes pull the commercial out of respect for City Hall? Or should they run the commercial, putting their money to use?

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