October 10, 2019

“FTC Warning On Plaintiffs Bar Advertising Is Timely”

A partner at the Reed Smith law firm said in a Law360 analysis piece that the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) warning letters over misleading lawyer advertising “might be another step toward curtailing some of the problematic behavior” in litigation.

Eric Alexander said the lawsuit advertising field, often funded by third parties that generate leads for lawyers, is based on a “’Field of Dreams’ like model of ‘if you build (the advertising campaign), they will come (to give you enough plaintiffs to make it worth your while).’” He said the advertising has gotten so “sophisticated” and “aggressive” in both “tone and in tendency to stray from the truth.” Data has shown these ads, often presented as alerts or news, has led some people to stop taking medication without consulting their doctor.

Alexander said the ads “should not masquerade as actual news” and clearly state they are paid ads.

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