Why we “stay in our lane” when it comes to advertising

Bus Ad Critic Final

You’re in traffic, stuck between a pickup truck in front of you and a city bus behind.

As you tap your steering wheel in annoyance, you think about the five-foot-wide ad you saw plastered across the side of the bus earlier, extolling the skills of a personal injury lawyer who specializes in car accidents.

The pickup takes off, stops suddenly– and you are rear ended by the bus.

Who are you going to call?

Your instinct might be to take advantage of the massive ad on the side of the bus. After all, it’s right there, and the guy deals with this kind of stuff, right?

Maybe…but the bigger question is this: How is a client supposed to view the relationship between a lawyer who advertises on the city-owned bus system, when that lawyer then must sue the entity that owns it? Are they in business together or truly at arm’s length?

Over the past few years, our lawyers have represented clients suing OC Transpo and the City of Ottawa for damages. First, it was the deeply traumatic Barrhaven Via Rail/OC Transpo incident and then the deadly Westboro Transit station OC Transpo crash. In addition, have we represented clients in slip and fall claims against the City of Ottawa.

For our clients, there is no doubt that we are representing their best interests.

We do not promote our firm’s services on city-owned buses or any other city-owned property, for that matter. Whether it is a bus-vehicle accident or a slip-and-fall claim in front of City Hall, we want our clients to be confident that there is no blurring of the line business advertising and their best interests.

For us, that’s not just a matter of good business. It’s about honouring the trust our clients put in us.

About the Author: Brenda Hollingsworth

Brenda Hollingsworth co-founded Ottawa’s Auger Hollingsworth in 2005 with her husband Richard Auger. Together, their mission was to create a personal injury law firm for Eastern Ontario that is unrivalled in the province for customer service and legal expertise. Brenda was named an Ottawa Business Journal Forty Under 40 award recipient and took home the Women’s Business Network’s Businesswoman of the Year award in the Professional category. She was also recognized as one of Ottawa Life Magazine’s “Top 50 People in the Capital.” She is often quoted as an expert and has appeared in media outlets such as CTV, The Globe and Mail, National Post, Ottawa Citizen, Sun Media, CBC, Toronto Star, Montreal Gazette, CFRA and many legal publications.

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