It is stating the obvious to say social media has been on the rise in recent times however, still not all brands are utilizing social media efficiently. This week, Mashable reported on LY Lawyers exploring Facebook advertising to target first-time drug offenders who have been charged at music events. Numerous sites have reported on this advertising behavior including Sydney Morning Herald, vice.com and Weekend Sunrise regarding the ethical nature of this advertising. The advertisement in question depicted a person cutting lines of white powder and reads: ‘Busted with possession or supply of drugs at Field Day? Call Sydney’s best drug lawyers!’, featured as a sponsored post on Facebook.
Sponsored ads are targeted dependent on the likes, check-ins and sharing of you and your friends. Therefore LY Lawyers are just playing the game really well in including key words such as ‘Field Day’ (a Sydney music festival held on New Years Day). As a result of this, the advertisement would appear to those who have shown interest in Field Day via Facebook. Considering a record number of people were arrested for drug-related offences at Field Day this year, it is a considerable market for the law firm.
The Marketing and Communications team at LY Lawyers can be seen as innovative through their Facebook page, featuring over 8, 800 likes. The key with social media is to keep the conversation going and LY Lawyers have hit the nail on the head with daily posts featuring a variety of legal updates, news articles and blog posts targeted at 18-35 year olds, young professionals and students. The page has even attracted a number of law students!
I do not consider the advertising strategy of LY Lawyers to be unethical, rather it is innovative. We have to be supportive of innovative advertising like this rather than condemn it. It is encouraging to see a law firm, a traditionally conservative industry reaching out in this way and it opens the doors for many marketers to move and shake within their industries following this precedent.