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Lawyers have a reputation for being cautious people. But Barlow Lyde & Gilbert (BLG) took a stand against this stereotype with its now legendary advertising campaign in May.
The full-page BLG ad named 250 corporate counsel and their companies. As a result, last week the Advertising Standards Association upheld a formal complaint against BLG made by a handful of anonymous in-house lawyers, who may well have included Charles Lawton of Rio Tinto and Mark Harding of Barclays, given their previous outrage on the subject.
The ad certainly stood out from the usual hollow law firm blurb, but alarm bells should have rung at BLG before it even hired advertising agency Harrison Troughton Wunderman.
The ad firm has two partners, Steve Harrington and Lester Wunderman. Harrington has gone on a three-month sabbatical and Wunderman has left the agency.
Funnily enough, the agency's own marketing catchphrase is: "If you are a cautious soul who wants to deviate little from what the rest of the market is doing, perhaps you should look elsewhere."