Law Firm's "Serial Killer" Ad Provokes Strong Response from Trucking

June 05, 2014

By Jim Park

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A defamatory ad placed in Maxim magazine by a Texas-based law firm has drawn sharp criticism from trucking, and prompted a significant response from the publisher.

The full page ad running in the June issue depicts a threatening frontal picture of a truck under the headline, "Serial Killers." Below the picture, the ad copy reads, “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," etc.

It didn't take long for the ad to make the rounds on various trucking social media sites, generating a torrent on comments. The American Trucking Associations, Truckload Carriers Associations, OOIDA and others launched  social media campaigns urging Maxim magazine to apologize and withdraw the ad.

Several truck stop retailers pulled copies of the June issue from their shelves.

TCA issued a statement to members saying, "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."

ATA president and CEO Bill Graves wrote to maxim, stressing the industry's disappointment with the serial killer depiction, saying "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."

Late Thursday afternoon, both Maxim and the law firm issued apologies. Gretchen Tibbits, vice president at Maxim, told TCA she will be removing the ad from the digital version of the magazine today and providing a full-page ad space in the July/August issue to promote the positive side of the trucking industry. The law firm said they would no longer use the ad.


  1. 1. Laughlin [ June 06, 2014 @ 05:02AM ]

    Incredibly stupid thing for Maxim to put in their mag when a huge number of their readers are truck drivers AND trucks are undoubtedly crucial in the shipment and distribution of their magazine. Somebody wasn't thinking when they allowed that as to be published.

    On the lawyers side, I'm not surprised. Their apology means nothing because they meant what they said. That's the way they really think and that's how they want the public to think. Those firms specialize in the harassment of the trucking industry and even their name leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Wish those lawyers had to live without the benefits that trucking provides. Want food? Grow your own. Want a house? Plant a few trees you can harvest and process without having to transport them by truck and build your own. Want clothes? grow some cotton or buy a sheep and make your own. After all, buying things that have been shipped by truck supports serial killers. Bunch of greedy, hypocritical, money-hungry idiots!

  2. 2. KeyWester [ June 06, 2014 @ 06:51AM ]

    I am on the defense side of trucking and personal injury claims and I find these misleading ads by plaintiff lawyers trying to drum up business to be reprehensible. However there is no law against ii and I do not understand why Maxim magazine is being attacked over this. Maxim just takes paid advertising for their magazine. They are not responsible for the content of ads that are placed, nor do they act as an editorial board. Their only concern would be whether the advertising is legal, not whether they agree with it or "somebody" might not like it. Attacking the magazine over this is like attacking a billboard company because you take offense at something perfectly legal that someone paid to put on the billboard.

  3. 3. Big yellower [ June 06, 2014 @ 07:32AM ]

    Let's put a ad that's refer to the law firm as ambulance chasers. Then a law firm that has violent, drug dealing, DWi, Reckless individuals for clients.

  4. 4. starbuck [ June 06, 2014 @ 08:02AM ]

    Their apology means nothing.If you look at their website it implies truck drivers take over the counter stimulants to stay awake.Ambulance chasing scumbags.If we put anything closely like that about their firm they would sue for slander.Great double standard how ones legal but retorts arent.

  5. 5. Allen [ June 06, 2014 @ 02:20PM ]

    And does anyone censure or sanction the law firm? They got their ad out, and they just get to keep doing what they do -- trying to make bad situations worse in order to siphon money out of other pockets into theirs? How sweet that they and Maxim apologized!

  6. 6. John [ June 08, 2014 @ 12:01AM ]

    For a lack of anything else to do, these types of law(less) attorneys want to classify truck drivers right along side of the known criminals they represent in court. We all know the ones (criminals)....murderers, gangbangers, rapists. Greedy lawyers like these, know the people they're defending are guilty of the crimes they've been charged with, but the lawyers are only interested in the $$$$$$$.

  7. 7. Big yellower [ June 09, 2014 @ 12:46AM ]

    So if it's ok to have a billboard that makes Drivers out to be serial killers. Than why not a billboard calling lawyers scum of the earth who prey on ppl like criminals. Who don't care about justice. Just how much $$$ they make at inconvience of their victims. also the so called Justice system that only helps those with big Bank $$$. Not equal justice under the law...


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