It’s been barely 30 years since the Supreme Court decided that commercial speech—even by lawyers—deserved some First Amendment protection. Since then, the various state laws have formed a vague and contradictory patchwork. Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal took a look at some the resulting absurdities: an ad featuring a UFO and aliens? Ok in South Carolina but forbidden in New York. In Florida, lawyers can use panthers in ads, but pit bulls are a no-no. How about lions? The Journal quotes Greg Beck, a lawyer with Public Citizen Litigation Group, as saying “Lions are an open question. Lions can be vicious, but they are also noble. The whole thing is Kafkaesque.” Only if the lion turns into a beetle, Greg!
The obvious question: how about bears? Thankfully, the brilliant, angry copyranter has been doing the Lord’s work of tracking the weird fixation by law firms (or the ad agencies they use) on animal imagery. The comments to this post on a Bingham ad produced the alternative caption: “Bear lawyers who take babies for payment.”
More examples (some of which are banned in Florida): giraffe, ostrich and lion.
-posted by brian
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