Bad Precedent: Lawyer Censured for Buying Google Keywords for Other Lawyers and Law Firms
I thoroughly disagree with this anti-competitive, anti-consumer censure. It’s bad precedent.
I was the defense’s law firm marketing/social media expert witness in Habush vs. Cannon & Dunphy on this very issue (although the lawsuit was filed under a Wisconsin state “invasion of privacy” statute).
This is common practice online. When you Google “Avis,” a sponsored link for Hertz shows up in the margin. The user isn’t deceived and everyone gets more information and more choices, which is good for consumers. It’s a strategy that helps smaller firms with smaller marketing budgets compete against big-name, big-budget firms.
This keyword-bidding strategy is certainly aggressive, but it shouldn’t be considered unethical or unprofessional; it’s simply an issue of taste, which is subjective. We shouldn’t legislate taste.