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.

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