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The Beefcake Approach to Marketing

Sure, sex sells. But does it sell legal services? That is the question Larry Bodine raises at his Law Marketing Blog in response to a billboard that has Chicago abuzz. The billboard is an advertisement for Fetman, Garland & Associates, a two-woman Chicago divorce firm. It features two photographs,  one centered on the chest and thighs of a shapely, lingerie-clad woman and another showing the muscular chest and abs of a man wearing only a towel. The two photos sandwich the ad's slug line: "Life's short. Get a divorce." Beneath that is Fetman Garland's phone number.

Obviously, Bodine writes, the ad appeals to married people unhappy with their sex lives. But is it good marketing? Sure, says Bodine, since it:

  • Got people to notice and remember the ad.
  • Evoked an emotional response.
  • Created a buzz all by itself.

Yesterday, a Chicago alderman had the billboard taken down for lack of a proper permit. This upset firm partner Corri D. Fetman, who told a reporter that she felt "violated" by the city's removal of the billboard without due process. Nonetheless, in the short period the sign was up, the lawyers said, calls to their firm rose dramatically. So much for upholding the sanctity of marriage.

Footnote: ABC News rounds up lawyer reaction to the billboard, which can be summed in the statement of John Ducanto, past president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers: "It's grotesque. It's totally undignified and offensive."

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on May 9, 2007 at 03:27 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

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