Philip Hamer & Co

Philip Hamer is one of the fastest growing legal firms in the Yorkshire and Humberside region with offices in Hull, Doncaster, Sheffield and Leeds. It has used regional TV advertising to market its personal injury services.

Three years ago, the firm ran what senior partner Philip Hamer calls an “ambulance-chasing advert”.

But, on the basis of recent American Bar Association research, which showed lawyers did better if their advertising was “less hucksterish and more upmarket”, the firm recently ran a more sophisticated advert featuring a former 'Look North' presenter.

The budget for the campaign, including production costs and the purchase of air time, is said by Hamer to have been about u20,000.

While the firm has found TV advertising cost-effective for marketing its PI services it has ruled it out as a means of selling its company and commercial products. “To sell that kind of product you'd need the kind of spend that Lloyds Bank has,” says Hamer.

The firm advertised on regional radio, but found this became less effective as it expanded geographically. It is also a regular advertiser in the Yorkshire and Humberside Yellow Pages, which reach five million people.

Hamer says there has been a client database “for about eight years, but perhaps we don't use it as much as we should”.

He argues that for a law firm to hold its own it should have a marketing/promotional budget equal to at least 2.5 per cent of turnover.