Legal Marketing & Consulting

Law Firm ‘Fake News’ Video Criticized

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A law firm and its public relations consultant are being criticized for a paid program on public access cable that looks all too much like a real news show.

Two partners at the Hartford, Conn., law firm of Shipman & Goodwin are interviewed on the video by a PR consultant who was a former reporter for a local TV station, WFSB-TV Channel 3, the New Haven Advocate reports. The consultant, Duby McDowell, sometimes appears on the station as an on-air analyst. On the video she is identified as a “WFSB Political Analyst.” The subject of the interview is the law firm’s recent $12.4 million win in an eminent domain case.

The story says McDowell and another questioner “toss softball questions” at the lawyers on a set “that looks just like it could be a rebroadcast of a WFSB show.” At the end of the program, though, viewers are informed: “This program has been presented by Shipman and Goodwin.”

Legal Blog Watch, which posted the story, is not comforted by the disclaimer. “To me, this looks like a classic example of fake news, one that is sure to mislead at least some of the people who watch it,” says the Blog Watch’s Robert Ambrogi.

The video is available online.

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