Co-op launches multi-million pound legal services advertising campaign

A still from the Co-op TV advert

The Co-operative Legal Services has today (CLS) stepped up its attack on the legal market by launching its first ever TV and radio advertising campaign.

The multi-million pound campaign will air on TV and radio stations across London, and include social media, press advertising and PR activity.

The campaign has been created by advertising agency Leo Burnett, with the TV advert – directed by former barrister Jamie Rafn – focusing on how consumers are intimidated by legal jargon and feel like children when dealing with legal matters (watch it below).

Ian Mackie, director of marketing at CLS, said: “The launch of a major advertising campaign is part of our move to build our brand and support the expansion of our legal services.

“Our offer has never been more relevant, particularly with the changes to legal aid and the questions this raises about access to justice. We believe it’s vital to make it as easy as possible for people to gain access to legal advice in both an affordable and unintimidating way. This campaign is designed to support our promise to offer straightforward advice and fixed-fee services that give people clarity and transparency over costs.”

He added: “The TV advert aims to highlight our understanding of and empathy with customers ‘fears’ about dealing with legal matters. The radio ads then concentrate on how we help people going through legal issues with expert, honest advice and clear pricing, so consumers can resolve things as smoothly as possible. The radio ads feature real-life consumer stories.

“We are really excited about the campaign which brings to life our promises – to provide fixed fee services, free initial advice, drop the use of jargon and handle cases with sensitivity.”

Mr Rafn read law and qualified as a barrister before turning to film. He wrote, directed and produced his debut feature, ‘Soho Square’, and worked on a series of short films before undertaking commercials for brands such as T-Mobile, Volvo, Budweiser, and Johnnie Walker, which won a Cannes Gold Lion.

He recently directed the first season of BBC sitcom ‘Roger & Val Have Just Got In’ and last year directed a Budweiser advert which premiered during the Super Bowl.

    Readers Comments

  • The Co-op is getting plenty of exposure at the moment. First it pulls out of the deal to purchase 632 Lloyds branches; secondly, its credit rating is downgraded to junk status by Moody’s and now it is has launched a multi million pound campaign to promote its legal services despite yesterdays headline: The Co-op cuts lending despite tapping up almost £1bn in cheap funds from the Bank of England.

    As one city analyst said “It is curious that given its comparative size the Co-op decided to avail itself of more than one third of all funds under the Funding for Lending scheme in the first quarter.”

    Like it or loathe it, the Co-op is competition and should be treated with the respect a business with a huge number of customers and access to millions of pounds warrants.

  • Whenever did solicitors require clients to read statutes and law books themselves?

    You are putting up a perfect straw man argument: pretend that your opponent is doing or saying something and then attack it.

    Like all straw men arguments, it’s dishonest.

  • Alex says:

    I don’t think it helps to deny that it is a good advert. Persuasive, eye-catching and well presented. Many consumers will be tempted to give them a go.

    Fortunately the people answering the phone in the call centre are unlikely to be as persuasive and I remain to be persuaded that the Coop can actually deliver and consistently make good on the hype. In limited transactional work, perhaps, but in all likelihood people instructing them will never see their lawyer (term used advisedly) and this may materially limit their impact.

    For as long as business is done face to face, there remains hope for the high street firm and there is real legitimacy in advocating the benefits of aiming to become and to be the person referred to as ‘my solicitor’.

    The advert, campaign and Coop itself cannot and does not challenge that and in larger matters- transactions and disputes in particular- an arms length approach can only take them so far.

  • Carl James says:

    Sorry Kevin, isn’t that exactly what people are having to do now that legal aid has been cut. People are being forced into DIY.

  • Carl, is the Co-op saying it is going to act for people who are doing their own litigation? Bearing in mind the woes of the Co-op Bank, I can’t imagine there’s that much money available to fund charity work.

    It’s a fallacy to think that litigation can be done cheaply. there’s always a very high price to pay, whether in lawyer’s fees, one’s own time (an enormous amount of it) or the great personal stress that it can cause.

    The Co-op isn’t interested in helping those who can no longer get Legal Aid for litigation. It wants what it sees to be the profit centres: conveyancing, wills and probates.

  • I like the ad, it “works” for me.

  • Carl James says:

    Kevin – You have missed my point completely. It was a commentary on the lamentable reduction in scope of legal aid. As for conveyancing being a profit centre we should all perhaps read the demise of In Deed. As far as I am aware the Coop has never said that it would do things ‘cheaply’. It’s talked about fixed fees and to be frank I think we should all sit up and take notice.

  • This ad is in my top 2 favourite legal brand ads. Seriously, who apart from Co-op and Quality Solicitors can fund an ad campaign? They will certainly attract wavering consumers and small law firms will undoubtedly suffer. Comments about levels of service, quality, staffing etc are all irrelevant when there is only one voice in town and they are shouting loudly. Who cares about their banking obligations and their deal with Lloyds?They’ll provide a good, cheap will whenever the customer wants it compared to many “traditional” law firms who wont see a client after 4.30pm on weeknights. Great campaign, well done CLS.

  • It’s actually a good advert.
    The service may not live up to it though.

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