Saturday, 29 December 2012

Lawyers - the world's most unethical marketers?


Over the past fortnight or so we have be somewhat plagued by telephone calls seeking to flog us something. And the thing that connects most of these calls is that they all link in some way or another to the legal profession and its agents.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not one of those people who reacts to marketing calls by calling for bans or controls or the evisceration of the caller. Indeed, direct marketing was my business a while back and its principles still matter - more and more in this age of direct response, internet marketing and e-commerce.

But can someone explain why that most self-important of businesses - the law - has rushed headlong into the least ethical forms of marketing. We've had automated calls, spam texts, calls from people with English names but very thick foreign accents and a torrent of e-mails. This is all well and good (although the automated calls are probably illegal as may be much of the spam texts) but the lack of ethics in our legal brethren extends to the brief given to the caller. Here's a typical conversation:

Caller: "Can I speak to Mr Toldendo" (note: these is no person with this name but there is a Ms Toledano)

Me: "Who are you calling from?"

Caller: "We're calling about your recent accident"

Me: "And where did you get this information from?" (note: there has been no recent accident)

Caller: "From the national database."

Me: "There is no such national database. Where did you get the information?"

Caller: "It's the insurance companies..."

Me: "No you didn;t, they don't give out that information."

And so on - you get the gist. Yet the main beneficiaries of this sort of scam are lawyers - they're the ones who reap the big rewards. I recall seeing details of a successful claim against an employer. The employee with white finger got about £5,000. And the lawyers? They got over £20,000. Which I guess is why they can afford to fund these unethical marketing campaigns.

I can think of no other profession or area of business - not even home improvements - that has indulged in such an avalanche of invasive and deceptive marketing. Quite frankly the legal profession - especially given its penchant for lecturing the rest of us about ethics - has won the prize for the least ethical approach to sales and marketing.

It may be that lawyers are the world's most unethical marketers?


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I wonder which government party it was which changed the rules to allow conditional fees, i.e. no-win-no-fee, the root-cause of all this disgraceful conduct ?