Byte of Prevention Blog

by Jay Reeves |

6 Trends in Lawyer TV Advertising

tv ads Lawyers are spending close to $900 million in television advertising each year.

That’s a 70 percent increase since 2008 – a rate of growth that far outpaces TV spending by all other industries, according to a new report.

Leading the surge are trial lawyers, who are shelling out huge sums for TV spots. The top three categories:

  • Pharmaceuticals and prescription drug claims ($53.7 million in advertising per year)
  • Medical devices ($45.7 million)
  • Asbestos/mesothelioma ($45.6 million)

One emerging category is data breach and cyber-loss. Observers expect to see an explosive ad growth in this area in the coming years.

“Legal broadcast advertising has grown more than 68 percent over the past eight years, doubling its share of the local spot television market during the same period,” according to this source. “Legal television ad spending, unlike other major TV advertising categories, such as automotive sales, restaurants, and product retailers, has consistently increased both before and after the Great Recession. Legal advertising is not only recession-proof, but also politics-proof, as it does not decrease during election years as it does for other advertisers, due to higher spot costs and lower spot availability.”

View the full report here.

6 Lawyer TV Ad Trends

  1. Trial lawyers are buying daytime and early morning spots in order to target the “most vulnerable populations.”
  2. The highest volume of ads from personal injury lawyers is in the Tampa and Orlando television markets.
  3. Lawyers tend to advertise on syndicated talk shows and local news programs.
  4. The largest annual expenditure by a single firm is $25 million by a plaintiffs’ law firm in Houston, Texas.
  5. Lawyers are paying extra for premium placement that comes with a right of first refusal for future advertising space in that programming spot.
  6. National law firms are advertising in many markets, often partnering with local firms for name recognition, regional trust and knowledge of the local legal environment.

In addition to traditional TV advertising, lawyers are also major players in social media and online marketing. Twenty percent of firms say they have invested in content generation over the past two years, and 60 percent have hired an outside content generation or management service.

And personal injury lawyers are infatuated with Google key words. According to the report, 23 of the top 25 Google key words are for personal injury law firms. “San Antonio car wreck attorney” is the most expensive Google key word at $670 per click.

By contrast, fewer firms are relying on older methods like search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click ads.

Do you advertise on television? Why or why not? Please share your thoughts.


About the Author

Jay Reeves

Jay Reeves practiced law in North Carolina and South Carolina. He was Legal Editor at Lawyers Weekly and Risk Manager at Lawyers Mutual. He is the author of The Most Powerful Attorney in the World, a collection of short stories from a law life well-lived, which as the seasons pass becomes less about law and liability and more about loss, love, longing, laughter and life's lasting luminescence.

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