Tuesday, August 7, 2018

I don't like the idea of advertorials, or of being the latest 'legal expert' being interviewed on whether selling unripe bananas violates consumer protection law.

I answered the phone. They knew who I was, but checked to confirm. They loved my writing and thought I would be perfect for a column in their nationally syndicated newspaper, I'd just have to pay them R25000.00 a year, and I would get a column to write for the subscriber only exclusive Times Select publication of the Times and Sunday Times. I of course said no.

Times Select aren't the only ones in the business of selling advertorials to attorneys.

Lawyer Monthly consistently sends me emails about how impressed they are with me, and how they would like to do a centrefold profile or even magazine cover of me, for a price. I don't reply to their periodic 'interview request'.

I have seen colleagues link to or post pictures of similar profiles and gushing advertorials from their LinkedIn profile. It seems we as a profession have gone beyond giving free advice, and are now expected to pay good money to give advice in publications the public pay money to read.

I write articles on law on my blogs, and certainly do the odd advert in a community group. I also tend to enjoy answering legal questions, and helping people out. Law is more than a career to me. It is actually a passion I enjoy.

I have had someone suggest to me I should pay for an advertorial in the local paper, others suggest having journalists on speed dial to talk to about the latest news stories. I don't find either idea appetizing. I don't like the idea of advertorials, or of being the latest 'legal expert' being interviewed on whether selling unripe bananas violates consumer protection law. My personal inclination is to say no to the various 'advertorial opportunity' pitches I receive.

Am I wrong to be sceptical in this sort of thing? Am I just being old fashioned? Have advertorials worked for you?

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