Legal Marketing

NY Jail Tries New Revenue Option: Televised Lawyer Ads Next to Booking Area

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Minutes after they are arrested, alert defendants in Erie County, N.Y., will learn more about their options on a high-definition television screen displaying ads for lawyers and bail bondsman.

The county’s holding center will post the ads along with facility information on two televisions, one just outside the booking area and another in a lobby used by friends and family, the Buffalo News reports. “This is the ultimate captive audience,” says Anthony Diina, the head of the digital advertising company hired by Erie County.

It’s not the only jail running ads, the story says. The Charlotte County Jail in Florida runs ads on TV screens in inmate visiting areas. Several county jails also advertise on their websites. But a spokeswoman for the American Correctional Association told the Buffalo News she hadn’t heard of any facility running TV ads directed at recently arrested suspects.

So far Diina’s company has sold about half the available advertising. Lawyers can buy a spot for about $40 a week if they agree to a one-year plan.

Criminal defense lawyer James Auricchio won’t be among the advertisers. He told the Buffalo News he thought the ads were in poor taste. “I wouldn’t do it even if I was subsisting on Ramen noodles,” he said.

Hat tip to the New York Daily News.

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