New Zealand Law Society - Lawyer famous for over-the-top ads dies in US

Lawyer famous for over-the-top ads dies in US

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An American lawyer once dubbed the “sultan of salesmanship,” for his brash television commericals, has died in Texas at the age of 56.

Dallas-based Brian Loncar was a pioneer of the zany, over-the-top attorney advertising genre.

The Dallas Morning News reports Mr Loncar made a name for himself as the “Strong Arm,” a moniker that became a household phrase thanks to a series of TV commericals he himself starred in.

The ads featured a forearm pounding against steel and Mr Loncar promising to get his clients some money if they were injured in a car accident.

His firm had offices in 11 cities across Texas and employed almost 20 lawyers.

The authorities haven’t given an official cause of death, which came just two days after the funeral for his teenage daughter, who committed suicide last month.

The newspaper says investigators were examining a Rolls Royce Wraith parked outside his offices. Mr. Loncar’s stepson said the family has been told he suffered a heart attack.

Mr Loncar’s memorable marketing made him a local personality, popularising a tongue-in-cheek style emulated by others. In one of his ads he drives a tank down a street. “You can get hurt in a car accident, unless you drive one of these,” he says, standing through the tanks’ top hatch.

In 1993 the New York Times called him the “undisputed sultan of salesmanship.”

“People want to be entertained, whether it’s selling lawyers or selling soap,” he said at the time. “God knows, lawyers are boring enough. If you make it so that all they can do is stand in front of a lot of books and say, ‘I’m a lawyer, call me,’ people will switch the channels as fast as they can.”