The winner for 2013's WORST law firm marketing.

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I still think the Law Society’s “Which of these men do you think would be best at rape?” ad is the worst, most-offensive campaign in the 300-year history of legal industry marketing.

But today, in 2013, I think we may have a tie. 

Courtesy of our friends at Above the Law, we have a promotional video purportedly running by Alabama personal injury law firm McCutcheon & Hamner.  Although their website and Facebook page  seem quite typical, for some unfathomable reason they apparently went completely cuckoo with video, buying an astonishingly offensive ad from a production company that seems to specialize in juvenile, over-the-top, green-screen awfulness.

I simply don’t know what to say about this “Angry Asian Man” video.  What could they possibly have been thinking?  Take a look at the screen shot below – then realize that the video is even worse.

“Angry Asian Man”:

Here’s a free marketing tip for professional-services firms:

Avoid marketing that insists viewers “pick the wad out of [their] panties.”

I understand, comedy is hard. Senses of humor vary.  We can have a legitimate debate re the value of politically correctness. But c’mon, this is 2013; some things are freakin’ obvious.  (We’re already planning to use video of this as an “Ethical or Not?” example in some upcoming CLE presentations.

Click here to watch the terrible, horrible no good, very racist video. 

The video’s producers calls it “intentionally Cheesy B Rate” and “satire comedy.” Effective offensive satire requires nuance, making the audience both laugh and squirm.  I enjoy small doses of Andrew Dice Clay and Lisa Lampanelli.  George Carlin was one of my all-time favorites.  But this is just plain racist.

This can’t be real, can it?  No one could possibly miss the mark this badly. The backlash would be enormous.

If this is real, the law firm could be run out of business.  If it’s spoof, I wouldn’t want to be the production company. there will be Hell to pay.

The video’s producer states that “out of respect to the Attorney Firm,” they  “disabled the comment threadat the request of McCutheon & Hamner” [sic]. The rest of the writing is equally poor, almost like it’s written in someone’s second language. Yeah, I can see why they wouldn’t want any comments.

The images are copyrighted Definitive Television.  Trust me, this is NOT a Fishman Marketing product.

 

UPDATE:

According to the firm’s Facebook page, they were hacked and are now disclaiming all knowledge of, and credit for, the offensive video.  Their phrasing is somewhat curious though, “Our firm did not approve the latest advertising commercial.”

If I were wearing my lawyer hat, I’d want to know why they added the word “latest.”  It makes me wonder whether there was a previous version of the “advertising commercial” that they had approved:

Published In: Firm Marketing Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Ross Fishman, Fishman Marketing, Inc. | Attorney Advertising

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