Those of you who live in Nashville are probably well aware of Bart Durham, a personal injury lawyer/ambulance chaser whose commercials are frequently seen on local TV. Durham’s commercials have previously focused on feel-good themes and personal injury stories of “real clients” who have received big settlements from tractor-trailer accidents (a specialty of Durham’s).
But recently, Bart Durham’s commercials have become increasingly bizarre and cheesy, relying on the use of bikini-clad models and now a 20-part Nashville Soap Opera (aka “Coach Foster Fights Back”) to catch viewers’ attention.
The plot revolves around a little league baseball coach who becomes paralyzed from the waist-down after a tractor-trailer accident (sound familiar?), and a risky surgical procedure that might allow him to walk again. There’s also a side plot that takes place in Malibu, CA involving a handsome, egotistical movie mogul, a beautiful Russian neurosurgeon, and a lot of bikini clad babes. Oh, and boats.
If the idea of a 20-part mini-soap opera/quasi-softcore porn sounds like a strange way to promote a law firm, then you’d probably be right. The reaction from local viewers has been overwhelmingly negative. Here it is, straight from the horse’s mouth:
“All I can say it I would never use your law office due to the use of sex to sell yourselves. It seems as if Bart Durham has no moral dignity due to his consistent use of scantily clad females in all of his commercials.”
“By the way, does Mr. Durham own that boat in the opening seconds of these commercials? If so, he really needs to tone it down. Such a blatant display of material wealth (albeit earned rightfully through the successful practice of the law) seems to be somewhat of a slap in the face to all of his clients.”
“I’m sure you’re a fine man that works hard for your clients. Having said that…FIRE YOUR ADVERTISING TEAM! I’m stuck at home recovering from brain surgery… but because of this, I’m forced to see your terrible commercials over and over again.”
“This is horrible. Even for an ambulance chaser, MAKING UP a story is terrible.”
And yes, you can see the commercials online.
EDIT: Several weeks after I published this, I received an email from Bart Durham himself, commenting on this post:
Even though your article was critical it was extremely well written.
You nailed it. Congratulations on very professional work.
See, he’s not such a bad guy. I’ll keep him in mind if I ever get hit by an 18-wheeler.