Ten Part Legal Marketing Series

Part 2: Fighting the Pharmaceutical Giants: How the Internet is Affecting Litigation

Blogging for Law FirmThe media – then and now

Remember the good old days? When you learned about a trial decision when the law report digests came out? If you were lucky you read about the decision in the newspaper or heard about it by way of lawyer gossip. And as for settlements–good luck in finding anything out anywhere–the cases just vanished.

Now, we are watching a new world unfold. We are all being empowered as never before, with a torrent of information on any subject whatsoever. Stories covering trial events–and settlements–hit the Net within minutes–not in weeks and months. And it’s even pretty easy to find that news–you just Google it.

Venturing out on the information highway

Because you are reading this article, it may be that searching on the Net for the latest news on some litigation or product took you immediately to LawyersandSettlements.com (LAS). LAS is the marketing vehicle OLM offers to trial lawyers–it’s an online interactive news magazine filled with the latest news about tort actions generally, including pharmaceutical actions, and class actions. OLM offers radically increased internet exposure for an individual lawyer or firm (2.5 million readers) for an economical price.

OLM can offer you any or all of the following:

  • Help in creating or updating your own website
  • A defined share of all client leads, retrieved through LAS, in your area or areas of expertise, for the length of your marketing campaign
  • Listing in the magazine’s directory of lawyers
  • Ad space in LAS
  • Content links for your own website

All that, and you also help to provide an important public service–that of giving news about tort claims, in down to earth language–to ordinary people looking for information, and maybe looking for a lawyer.

The amazing world wide web

Here are a few examples of the power of the Net:

  • The World Federation of Advertisers reports that people in general are watching less TV, and that in fact those in the 18-26 year age group spend more time on the internet than watching TV. Young adults are eagerly adopting the new technology, and are receptive to advertising through websites and blogs.
  • The WFA says that by 2010, traditional TV advertising will be just one–third as effective as it was in 1990. That’s because the consumer is changing. We are watching relatively less TV, more of us engage in what the marketers call “avoidance behavior” (you have to love that)–channel surfing during ads–and in general the internet is creating consumers who are more active than before. It is far harder for an ad marketer to offer reliable television viewer numbers, in comparison to the accuracy of feedback offered by internet advertising–the “click” number.
  • According to a new Harris Poll, 80% of all U.S. adults are now online, a number that likely applies just as well to Canadians.
  • Internet advertising is no longer seen as an adjunct to TV advertising–it is replacing TV advertising. MediaDailyNews editor Diane Mermigas stated in a November 8 article: “Google’s meteoric growth into an advertising-supported search powerhouse using fundamental practices, metrics and pricing that are radically different from traditional media is a testament to just how fast consumer and advertiser sentiments can change.”
  • On November 5 Bayer HealthCare withdrew its drug Trasylol from the market at the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, citing safety concerns of the FDA. But Manhattan attorney Marc Jay Bern, who is acting in a Trasylol-related claim against the company, says the withdrawal “absolutely has to do with lawsuits”, and cites about 20 similar claims already filed across the country. The drug makers just can’t keep a lid on it anymore.

In the news – whether on the Net (for example at LawyersandSettlements.com) or in the paper – we will continue to read pharmaceutical/ FDA related stories. As bottom-line centered drug company executives rush new products to market as fast as they can, it is inevitable that more of the adverse outcome cases will come to light. More of the drug companies’ products will thereby become household words, joining names such as Avandia, Celexa, Lexapro, Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft, Levitra, Trasylol, Viagra, Cialis, Zyprexa, Vioxx and all the rest.

If you are a specialist in taking on the drug giants, you need to let your prospective plaintiffs and their families find you. You can’t ignore that huge group of people who are looking for you on the Net.

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