A reader shared the following mailer from Brookstone Law. In the past I have been very critical of attorney mailers selling real estate related services that appeared to be official government looking forms or notices. Those forms did not disclose they were attorney advertising and some even had official looking government seals and logos.
This mailer from Brookstone Law raises an interesting question about where the line exists between clever marketing and what is intended to confuse or fool consumers into being something it is not.
The outside of this mailer in my opinion is both clever and problematic. The clever part is the use of the color printed outside labels to give it some visual pop.
While the envelope does clearly but ambiguously state it is actually an attorney advertising piece it waivers on that a bit by saying it “may” be attorney advertising. In fact it absolutely is attorney advertising.
The outside labels could give the consumer the impression they are part of a legal matter in some way other than the receiver of an advertising piece. And that’s the line between being clever and being over the line. In my opinion the envelope alone here would give critics of Brookstone Law some ammunition to claim they have bent the boundary of advertising that does not mislead or confuse the consumer, to the very breaking point.
The letter enclosed in the envelope gets a kudo for actually labeling it as Attorney Advertisement at the top in a noticeable manner. There is no “may” about it. And also a pat on the back for clearly naming the attorney responsible for the mailer, Vito Torchia, Jr.
The mailer appears to be a solicitation for a mass joinder or mass tort lawsuit against a mortgage lender. There is no indication from the letter if an advanced fee will be required.
What makes this letter interesting is rather than publish a list of unreasonable results the list actually contains statements about things they may find. I don’t find that section to be misleading.
Unlike the mailer from NHT Law Group, this letter does not make an actual statement that there is a lawsuit against the lender, but one might be “contemplated.” That appears to be a factual statement as well.
So what is your opinion about this mailer and is this a cleverly crafted piece of attorney advertising that is fine or does it step over the line and confuse the average consumer into thinking it’s something it’s not? Post your comments below.