Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Fins to the left, fins to the right?

In this afternoon’s e-mail: a solicitation from a necktie company called Capital Ties. The headline screamed out: “Every litigator will enjoy this new Sharks necktie!”

Uh oh, you say, another lame lawyer-shark professional-courtesy joke. Ha ha ha. Like we haven’t heard this one before. Or before that.

The copy burbles, “Sharks is being targeted - tongue firmly in cheek - to the legal community. On our web site, we explain that ‘Shark’ comes from the German ‘schurke,’ meaning greedy parasite and that ‘while no brave soul has gotten close enough to determine where lawyers come from, logic and common sense dictate a similar derivation.’

Then it continues: "I trust that lawyers will accept this design in the spirit in which it is intended," says designer Nick Hotchkiss. "If they don't, then I suppose we'll have to switch gears and go after the subprime lending industry."

Take a look at the tie, pictured above. (Photo credit: Detail taken from the picture of the tie that came in the e-mail). It has little sharks chasing dollar signs. Perhaps an ambulance was too hard to stitch on there.

A quick thought while pausing at the “Delete” key: Just what were they thinking?

At this newspaper a few years back, we had a potential advertising client, a caterer interested in reaching the legal audience. We were all set to sell him a full-page ad until he insisted on advertising his food as “shark bait.” When we gently, then firmly, declined to run that copy, explaining that maybe it wasn't a good idea to insult someone you're trying to sell to. Didn't work. The deal fell through.

We’ll wait and see whether this tie company ever shows up at one of the commonwealth’s bar meetings. Until then, the “Delete” key works wonders.


Fred Smithee said...

I know that the Bar Association is consently harping on how put upon we lawyers are and how we need to do more to get people to see that lawyers are really good people so they will stop telling those awful lawyer jokes. Oh! Pity the poor lawyers who are the brunt of such mean spirited jokes by the uncaring, brutish, unwashed masses!

Lighten up people. IMHO, the tie is actually pretty cute. I am much more concerned about the serious attacks on our profession by the media pundits, tort reform groups, and the like. I can take a little ribbing (and give it back when called upon).

Anonymous said...

Lighten up, Paul. It's just good clean fun. And besides, a lawyer got paid to review the design and advertising copy. And if I don't say so myself, most lawyers who are buying the tie tell me it's the best looking one they've seen:-)

Nick Hotchkiss

Fred Smithee said...


It is nice looking, and I went to your website to consider purchasing it. However, I regret to say that I am apparently not enough of a "shark" (or at least not a very good one) as I cannot afford the cost . . . most of my ties are from the same rack at K-mart as my two for 19.99 galluses. I guess I am not a desinger tie kind of gut.