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Gecko in law firm ads spurs Geico protest; deal to pull commercials is reportedly reached

Posted Oct 17, 2013 6:00 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A talking gecko in an ad used by several law firms around the country spurred an objection from a Geico lawyer and an apparent agreement to pull the commercial.

A Virginia personal injury law firm, Geoff McDonald & Associates, was one of the firms using the ad, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports. Lawyer Geoff McDonald told the newspaper his firm dropped the ad after a Geico lawyer protested to the ad agency, spurring a settlement and a request that the firms pull the commercial.

The agency that made the commercial is CJ Advertising. Its general counsel, Jimmy Bewley, wouldn’t discuss the Geico settlement with the Times-Dispatch, but said the ad was intended as a parody.

In the commercial, a talking gecko comes into a law firm with a bag over his head, explaining to the receptionist that he was in a car accident and he needs the firm’s help. Asked why he’s wearing a bag, the gecko explains, “Let’s just say the people I work for would hate to see me here.”

The receptionist replies, “We get that a lot,” and the camera shows others in the waiting room—a pig and a caveman.

Bewley said CJ Advertising also parodied the “Mayhem” character used by Allstate Insurance, “and pretty much the exact same thing happened. We made a settlement with them, too.”

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