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f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

November 17, 2004

jackals, foxes and squirrels

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 4:56 pm

Last Friday, Nov. 12, 2004, Ernie the Attorney spotlighted the Tasteful, and effective, yellow page ads

created for lawyers by Ross Fishman.  That very same day, I received an email from Ross, complimenting

this ethics-haiku weblog, introducing himself, and offering a bit of original “haiku dedicated to badly designed

law firm Yellow Pages advertising.”


Normally, the only amateur haiku on this weblog is my own, but Ross has made a good start as a haijin,

so I’ll share his with you, before taking a closer look at the Red Jackals ad campaign:   

Trembling fingers 
turning thin Yellow Pages.

                                                              Ross Fishman


Like Ross’ Red Jackal Ads, haiku honors brevity and eschews extra words, leaving it to the reader to draw

upon his or her own experience.  With a little pruning, this poem could be a powerful haiku that depicts a vulnerable psyche seeking help, but battered by the reality of those banner headlines.  [Imagine the reaction, if she or he had encountered my first tiny Yellow Pages ad for divorce mediation — which was run right under the category heading “Martial Law.”]

the unemployed foxes
cry out at the world
of blossoms


Issa, translated by D. G. Lanoue

hat rabbit   As Ross has explored this weblog and knows where I’m coming from, I hope he won’t mind me also asking a few

questions relating to his Red Jackals Ad services.  Ernie quotes this excerpt from a Lawyers Weekly USA article, the

second sentence of which is highlighted frequently at Ross’ site:

Since opening his solo family law boutique just over a year ago, Vancouver attorney Lorne MacLean

has accomplished the seemingly impossible: By simply changing the design of his Yellow Pages ad, he

increased his firm’s already significant profits by more than 200 percent.”

This sounds almost too good to be true.  I don’t know if Ernie read the rest of the article, but I did, and Ross probably

did, too.  The article goes on to explain that (emphasis added):

“When MacLean decided to go out on his own last year, he wanted to attract ‘more upscale, more sophisticated,

higher-net-worth individuals’.”


“We created a two-page spread for the Yellow Pages . .


“MacLean . . . bought a custom-designed, comprehensive advertising campaign for his business – including ‘image’ ads for local-circulation business journals, and glossies such as Vancouver magazine to raise his visibility among upscale readers and potential sources of client referrals. He paid about $20,000 for the whole package.”

This added information makes me wonder what baseline was used for the “200 percent” profit increase of a newly-established law practice, and suggests that a little more than “simply changing the design of his Yellow Pages ad” was involved.


heading for where
hunting birds are few…
the fox


Issa, translated by D. G. Lanoue


In the article Ross is quoted saying “A Yellow Pages rep needs every one of his advertisers to get an equal amount of business. . . .  If one ad were to start getting all the best calls in the ‘Lawyers’ category, the competitors would be furious at their rep.”   That does not jibe with my own experience as a yellow-page advertiser.  How would any one — rep or law firm — know how much business was driven to another firm’s ads?  My rep never brought up the subject with me.


the wolf too
peeks out his hole…
autumn dusk


Issa, translated by D. G. Lanoue

branding iron  More important, Ernie asks “But, what’s wrong with using a tasteful and effective ad that makes you stand out as a lawyer who is different than the crowd?  Nothing, as far as I can tell.”  I’m not so sure.  This advertising campaign can only lead to an ad war, increasing the marketing expenses of many law firms, especially those seeking the treasured “high-end” client.  The result can only be higher fees for clients, garnered by ads that actually contain less information and instead try to evoke an emotional closeness between lawyer and client.   It raises the issues treated in prior postings here, such as Brand LEX  and Another Lap Around LawFirm Branding.   More revenues for ad agencies and higher profits for some lawyers, without an increase in the quality of legal services.  Such a deal!


update (Nov. 22, 2004):  In a Comment that I hope you’ll read in full, Ross Fishman has responded to the issues that

are raised above about the services of his ad agency.  In jackal sequel, Your Editor replies.

by dagosan:

garbage cans overflow —

a fat squirrel ignores

man and river

                                 [Nov 17, 2004] 


one-breath pundit

    • Do you think “blog” and “bloviate” come from the same Latin root?  See Volokh, whatis?, and Bartleby.

    • Prof. Bainbridge, in The Role of Bloggers, says “Bloggers are NOT journalists. We don’t claim to be journalists and we never agreed to sign off on the rules journalists supposedly live with.”  His “we” seems to be rather myopic.  “They” missed BloggerCon and even our related posts.

                                                                                                                                                                                  coyote moon small

the guard positions himself

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 12:00 pm

traffic light

after the storm, icicles

change hue



Chinese treasures:

the guard positions himself

near the erotica


by Pamela Miller Ness, from The Can Collector’s Red Socks (2003),
a haiku sequence


one-breath pundit

tiny check Professor Ghosh at AntitrustProf Blog keeps posting items that remind me

that competition policy and antitrust aren’t just important, they’re interesting.  E.g.,

In Text and Pretext in Antitrust Law he asks “If conservative jurists advocate strict

constructionism, then why are they so willing to inject contemporary economic thinking

into statutory antitrust laws?  Ghosh points to in an article by Professors Daniel Farber

and Brett McDonnell.


In IP Stifling Competition, Ghosh notes that both the Dept. of Justice and the FTC are

continuing to study the anti-competitive effects of intellectual property rights.


Antitrust for wine connoisseurs describes Douglas Whitman’s book Strange Brew, a study of

state and federal regulations that restrict competition in the wine industry.


fragile glass

support the antitrust institute

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 10:57 am

Because I believe that strong antitrust enforcement and wise competition policy are crucial to America’s consumers

and economy, and benefit most of its businesses, I want to ask you to support the American Antitrust Institute.  [I have volunteered my services to aai over the past few years, compiling its Guide to Antitrust Resources on the Web.]


podium sf  AAI is a national, independent education, research, and advocacy organization dedicated to a more expansive role for the law and institutions of antitrust.  Please click here for a message from aai’s president, Bert Foer, explaining why — in this post-Election2004 world — AAI’s mission is more important than ever and its need for financial support greater than ever..  Priority projects at AAI this year include:

  • monitoring the work of the Antitrust Modernization Commission, where many important battles will be fought

    over the next three years (see Foer law review articleNAAG; CEI; and disinfopedia)

  • improving public education about the benefits of competition for the American consumer and economy

  • continuing advocacy and scholarly work relating to network access, the balance of intellectual property rights

    and competition, buyer power, academic publishing and antitrust, and energy markets


this world today–
for one chrysanthemum
a gold coin


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