On March 23, 2022, AVA Law Group aired a new ad telling veterans that if they had ever been stationed at Camp Lejeune, they may be due financial redress from the US government. The small $1000 ad buy appeared on national cable [the media favored by trial lawyers], which came and went with no other law firms airing ads on the topic.
Three months later on June 16th, in a rare act of bipartisanship, the Senate passed the “Camp Lejeune Justice Act” by a vote of 84-14. With this added stimulus, law firms across the country responded in kind with 14 of them airing a total of 20 spots at a cost of $327K, again focusing on national cable and national syndication.
On August 11th, this bill was signed by President Biden. Trial lawyers responded. Spending increased nearly 100-fold to $31M. While this month represents the peak of advertising on this topic, as shown below, activity remains high. Vivvix CMAG has tracked $114M in spending on this topic [with data through 1/23/23].
Where does this stack up with our historical data on law firm mass tort solicitation advertising?
Quite strongly. Setting aside ad creative soliciting claimants for the asbestos compensation fund, Round Up and Xarelto advertisements are the only legal categories to outstrip Camp Lejeune. But, this is less impressive than it sounds.
Looking below, we see the trendline of Round Up advertising over the past 7+ years. Vivvix CMAG has tracked $131M in spending on this topic over this period of time, with a peak in August 2019, followed by a precipitous drop — though new ads continue to be released pertaining to Round Up to this day.
Our 2nd most-targeted product for legal ads, Xarelto, has seen $121M in spending since these ads began in April 2013, peaking in October 2014. As is the case with Round Up, mass tort ads focusing on Xarelto continue airing though Vivvix CMAG has not coded new Xarelto creative since May 2019.
Given that Camp Lejeune ads began in earnest only in June 2022, we can confidently project that they will soon eclipse both Round Up and Xarelto advertising in the next 6-12 months. These categories have had the better part of a decade to accumulate their numbers while Camp Lejeune spots have had less than a year.
Furthermore, given that this category is a government-backed compensation fund sharing characteristics more in common with asbestos/mesothelioma cases than private companies paying out product liability claims, there is reason to believe that Camp Lejeune ads will take the former track as opposed to the latter — though the pool of potential claimants here is smaller than those who were affected by a product as ubiquitous as asbestos.
However, there is no “defendant” in this case with legal representation to state that their client is not at fault. The government concedes their guilt, has the ability to print money and has laid the issue at the feet of the courts to determine which claimants are eligible for compensation. Broadcasters and media buyers can expect to see this as a consistent revenue stream for the foreseeable future.