Regulation of Lawyers’ Use of Competitive Keyword Advertising
14 Pages Posted: 16 Apr 2015 Last revised: 5 Feb 2016
Date Written: April 14, 2015
Lawyers have enthusiastically embraced search engine advertisements triggered by consumers’ keywords, but the legal community remains sharply divided about the propriety of buying keyword ads triggered by the names of rival lawyers or law firms (“competitive keyword advertising”). This Essay surveys the regulation of competitive keyword advertising by lawyers and concludes that such practices are both beneficial for consumers and legitimate under existing U.S. law - except in North Carolina, which adopted an anachronistic and regressive ethics opinion that should be reconsidered.
Keywords: keyword advertising, adwords, trademark, publicity rights, professional responsibility, lawyers, search engine marketing
JEL Classification: K2, K42, M3, J44
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation