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Law Firm Keywords’ Purchase Lands Lawyer in Trouble for Online Law Marketing

A lawyer who bought keywords for other law firms, as well as lawyers and judges, has found himself in trouble for his online advertising campaign.

The lawyer, David Turlington, bought the keywords after a ruling made in North Carolina in 2012, which deemed his law marketing campaign to be a violation of the State’s ethical rules.

Keyword marketing on Google and other search engines is a key to online marketing, but its practise has evoked criticisms and ethical issues in several jurisdictions.

Google users who typed in the keywords used by Turlington were directed to advertisements purchased by Turlington online for his law firm marketing.

The ABA Journal reported that Turlington had claimed that his purchase of any inappropriate keywords was inadvertent and the result of his bulk purchase of keywords suggested by Google. But Turlington’s history of keyword searches suggested he specifically selected and approved several of the keywords, the order said. In any event, the order said, it is Turlington’s duty to scrutinize all keywords.

Turlington is out of the office until Monday, according to a person who answered the phone there. He did not respond to an email sent to his office email account.

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