Ambulance chasers become the ambulance

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By Judge John Hack on

A Merseyside claims management company faces potential legal action after promoting its services via an … ambulance


Claims management companies — or claims farmers, as they are disparagingly referred to by parts of the legal profession — arouse mixed reactions. Lawyers and insurance companies resent them; those members of the public for whom they bag compensation are generally quite grateful.

There are some 2,600 licensed claims management companies in the UK, according to the Ministry of Justice, and part of the established legal profession’s disdainful approach is directed towards their usually crass marketing gambits, with the consensus being that they are little more than old-fashioned ambulance chasers.

Now a Liverpool-based company has broken from the traditional technique of daytime television advertising appeals to those with a limb in plaster. It has branched out into a new form of marketing, but one that includes a highly recognisable and ironic element for the sector’s critics.

Amber Claims Management has been chugging up and down the motorways and A-roads of the northwest in a converted ambulance, which emphatically promotes the company’s services on every inch of available space.

The only problem for Amber — which, let’s face it, bags points for effort with this wheeze — is that the chaps back at base forgot to scrub off the NHS logo before sending the ambulance-turned-rolling-advertising-hording onto the streets.

It’s an oversight that hasn’t amused civil servants down Whitehall-way. A Department of Health spokesman confirmed to Legal Cheek today that the claims managers had better get out the spray paint or the real lawyers would be in touch.

“We have contacted the company concerned,” said the spokesman, “and asked them to remove the NHS logo. If they fail to do so, we will take legal action.”

No problem, was the response of Ian Ambrose, the company’s managing director, who said the ambulance had been withdrawn from public display as soon as the ministry had altered him to its concerns. The NHS logo had been adopted to read “National Help Service”, but Ambrose maintained that a team from Amber Claims Management was now busy removing the offending logo.

He described the marketing ploy as nothing more than a creative “tongue-in-cheek” departure from the business’s standard advertising in conventional media.

The company — which was launched in 2008 — runs a flat-fee membership arrangement with about eight law firms in England, and is looking to expand soon into Scotland.

Image via @SteveCornforth2