New Advertising Disclaimer Requirements: Size Matters

BillboardThe new advertising provisions of the Louisiana Rules of Professional Conduct, which became effective October 1, 2009, now contain specific requirements for disclaimers and disclosures. The rules mandate “disclaimers” for various types of ads, such as those that include a portrayal of a client by a non-client, or the depiction of any events or scenes or pictures that are not actual or authentic. Similarly, the rules require “disclosure” when an ad contains a paid testimonial or endorsement. See, e.g., Louisiana Rule 7.2.

When such a disclaimer or disclosure is required, Louisiana Rule 7.2(10) requires that it be in “a print size at least as large as the largest print size used in the advertisement or unsolicited written communication, and, if televised or displayed electronically, shall be displayed for a sufficient time to enable the viewer to easily see and read the disclosure or disclaimer.” Moreover, spoken disclosures and disclaimers must “be plainly audible and spoken at the same or slower rate of speed as the other spoken content of the advertisement.” Given these new provisions, the days of small print are over–at least in lawyer advertisements.

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