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Is TV Advertising Going The Way of The Yellow Pages?

Lawyers who have advertised on TV for a long time have noticed that it’s not working as well as it used to. Many lawyers have asked me why TV advertising is not what it used to be. I see some similarities with TV advertising to the Yellow Pages.

When the Yellow Pages worked well, there was only one yellow book. Years ago, there was just broadcast TV with just a very few channels. Most of the lawyer advertising was on just one or two channels. Now, there are over 1,000 channels; many different sources; and many different methods of watching TV content.

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Years ago, people told me that the Internet would be the end of TV advertising. I told them that my fear was that demand for TV advertising time from online companies would substantially increase and push TV advertising costs higher. Today, there are a great many online businesses which spend much of their advertising budget, if not the bulk of it on TV advertising to bring traffic to their websites.

TV viewers are quite familiar with some of the largest online advertisers,,, Ameritrade, Netflix, Scotttrade, and In fact, your knowledge of these brands probably emanates from TV advertising.

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Should You Buy Your Own TV Media Time or Use an Advertising Agency?

It may seem like a good idea. You can save the 15% advertising agency commission and you can save a lot more than that if you end up with an unscrupulous advertising agency that substantially marks up the media time and then charges a commission on top of that.

The truth is that buying your own TV media time is a huge mistake, unless your law firm is large enough for an in-house professional media buyer. Buying your own TV media time is equivalent to your client being his or her own lawyer. Not only does it require experience, knowledge and services you don’t have, but it is much more work than you think, requiring time you don’t have.

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