This week, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform published a report, “Trial Lawyer Marketing: Broadcast, Search and Social Strategies,” which highlights the pervasive nature of legal advertising and marketing. The report confirms that personal injury lawyer advertising is incredibly well-funded compared to other industries, with extensive outreach through network, cable, syndicated and spot television options and a full range of digital tools and systems, including Internet searches and social media.
In broadcast advertising, personal injury lawyers are spending about $75 million per month on television advertising. This is projected to total $892 million in 2015, which is a 68 percent jump from the $531 million spent in 2008 – that number is astronomical. These television ads are both increasing in market share and moving into more of the prime viewing times of the day. From 2008 to 2014, legal ad spending has grown six times faster than all other television ad spending.
Personal lawyers are reaching more and more consumers online through advertisements, search engine marketing, search engine optimization, and social media. The report found that nine of the top ten and 23 of the top 25 most expensive Google keyword search terms are legal terms. These firms continue to develop non-branded “informational websites,” which can mislead and scare consumers on important health issues, in order to garner high visibility in non-paid search results.
On social media, personal injury lawyers have been connecting to existing networks and ongoing conversations by interacting with journalists and advocates and sponsoring accounts that post about particular legal topics. In short, personal injury lawyer advertising and marketing is everywhere – we are surrounded by it.
We must understand that the motive behind these ads is to generate lawsuits and enrich personal injury lawyers. Personal injury lawyer ads make exaggerated and speculative claims in order to lure people into lawsuits. These lawyers are not medical experts and claims made in lawsuit ads are not necessarily facts and do not apply to all patients. To be a smart legal consumer, we must recognize that these ads, which we are constantly bombarded with, are not to be trusted.