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Most Outrageous Places for Lawyer Advertisements

By Jonathan R. Tung, Esq. | Last updated on

Have you ever considered an advertising or marketing idea but dismissed it because you thought it crossed the line of good taste? We have news for you: whatever the idea was, somebody probably already beat you too it.

The Internet is full of lawyer marketing stories that make you laugh, cringe, and then later admire the attorneys who had the bravery (or audacity) to carry out their marketing schemes.

Beyond Business Cards

Back in much simpler days, there were only a handful of ways that a lawyer could advertise. After all, it was widely considered to be a breach of lawyer ethics to advertise. No more.

We're still advocates of keeping business cards on hand. You never know when these may still be useful in helping to land clients or a job. But if you're curious about ideas that go beyond the business card, consider some of these entertaining ways to get your law firm's brand out there:

  • Beer Label-Lookalikes: One enterprising law firm in Georgia decided to copy the color and style of an Oregon brewer's logo and make it their own. You have to see it for yourself, as words cannot describe the similarity well enough. The case went through the court system and the law firm is no longer using the label -- but they at least became infamous for it.
  • Ads on Condoms: You knew it was going to happen sooner or later. Turns out, it happened sooner than even you thought. Back in the 90s an admiralty lawyer who once made a living as a comedian decided to place his ads on condom wrappers complete with the slogan, "Saving Seaman the Old-Fashioned Way." In 1993 he told the NY Times , "Every time I go to court I take another handful."
  • On Rolling Papers: A Denver-based firm focusing on DUIs festooned 5,000 packages of rolling papers (that is, for making joints) for free distribution admonishing the user to "[e]njoy the high, but don't drive drunk." Immediately, the cynicism bells in us are already ringing. Neat marketing trick, though.
  • Cheating Bastard!: This is probably a pretty standard way to advertise: using your car as a rolling billboard. But it's not every billboard on wheels that uses such colorful language as this divorce lawyer, who scrawled "cheating bastard!" all over his car.

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