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Law Firm Ad in Maxim Draws Ire from Trucking Industry

An ad published in a recent issue of Maxim by a Texas law firm has received strong criticism from the trucking industry of the United States, according to Trucking Info.

The ad takes a full page and runs in the June issue of Maxim. It has a picture of a tractor trailer under the headline “Serial Killers.” The copy of the ad reads as follows:

“3,561 people died on America’s highways last year. Another 2.36 million were injured.” It continues, “You need a law firm you can Trust. You need Experience. You need Strength. You need Villarreal & Begum. We’re proven leaders in prosecuting cases involving death and catastrophic injury. We Fight. You Win.”

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Many trucking groups took to social media demanding that Maxim apologize and withdraw the ad. Some of those groups include the American Trucking Association, the OOIDA and the Truckload Carriers Association. Some retailers of truck stops even removed the issue from shelves.

A statement was issued by the TCA that said: “The editors and staff of Maxim need to know that we are their family members, their neighbors and their friends. When we are on the road, we look out for them as we would our own children, and we will not let this mischaracterization go unanswered.”

Bill Graves, the president and CEO of ATA, said, “Every fatality on our nation’s highways is a tragedy, and we all have an obligation to improve highway safety, but our professionals that serve America are certainly not serial killers.”

Maxim and the law firm have issued apologies for the ad. The statement from Maxim is as follows:

“In the June 2014 issue of Maxim a legal firm ran an advertisement about truckers that was offensive. The ad in Maxim does not reflect the beliefs or opinions of the people at this magazine, which recently has begun operating under new ownership. New procedures are being implemented so that no such negative advertisements or editorial content will ever run in Maxim magazine. Maxim is aware of and appreciates the wide readership of truckers. Maxim is taking aggressive action to remove the aforesaid advertisement. To illustrate, the ad has been removed from its digital copy and is being replaced with facts about truckers and the trucking industry. Maxim will find many avenues to continue supporting the industry. A new day now flourishes at Maxim, and we will show steadfast support for the very industry that carries our magazine to newsstands and readers around the world.”

The statement from the law firm reads as follows:

“On behalf of the entire Law Offices of Villarreal and Begum:

Please be assured that it was never the intent of the Villarreal & Begum Law Firm to disparage the hard working Americans that drive tractor-trailers for a living. Our intent was to reach out to those individuals who have been involved in catastrophic accidents as a result of irresponsible drivers. The ad was in-artfully created and we could see how it may have caused our message to be misconstrued. We recognize the service that truck drivers provide to this nation and acknowledge that most truck drivers are safe and responsible drivers. There are, however, few drivers that do not always live up to the standards promulgated by state and federal agencies and end up hurting innocent people who, in turn, deserve adequate representation. It is the victims of catastrophic trucking accidents that we intended to reach and not our intent to offend law abiding citizens that drive tractor-trailers for a living. We apologize that the wording of our ad has offended you and your family. In response to your and others’ objections, we have instructed our marketing department not to use that ad in the future.”

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