Now illegal: calling lawyers pit bulls

Pitbull_pup1This may illicit little sympathy, but attorneys at a Florida law firm have been insulted, not to mention reprimanded. The firm, Pape & Chandler, which has been using pit bulls wearing spiked collars in its TV spots, has been told to cease-and-desist because the ads are “misleading and an affront to the legal profession,” this story says. The advertisements, which also promoted the toll-free number 1-800-PIT-BULL, "demean all lawyers and thereby harm both the legal profession and the public’s trust and confidence in our system of justice," Chief Justice Barbara Pariente of the Florida Supreme Court declared. She expressed concern that if these ads were allowed, "images of sharks, wolves, crocodiles and piranhas could follow." (We wish we knew whether she said this with a straight face.) The last time AdFreak checked, “pit bull” was a great thing to call a lawyer, as was “shark” or “barracuda.” Nobody wants a timid lawyer. The law is one of those professions (make your own inferences about advertising) in which nasty, obnoxious, pushy people really succeed. And now for the punch line: attorneys John Robert Pape and Marc Andrew Chandler were ordered to attend an advertising ethics workshop (a contradiction in terms?) and received a public reprimand from the Florida Bar.

—Posted by Celeste Ward

Credit: Michael Sampey