I’m shocked … shocked to find that there could be deception in advertising, especially when the advertising purports to involve a lawyer. Yet it seems that the successful M&A attorney featured in an online anti-aging cream ad not only doesn’t look as youthful as he appears, but he doesn’t exist at all. Either that, or the cream made him disappear.
As an active member of the Massachusetts bar myself, the ad touting the Boston lawyer caught my attention. It suggested it had the formula for the anti-aging secret of stars such as Robert Downey Jr. and George Clooney. As Exhibit 1, the ad presented Boston lawyer Frank Rosen.
I recently met up with Frank Rosen, a successful Mergers and Acquisitions attorney from Boston, Mass. Frank is 63 years old and doesn’t look a day over 45. He says getting the “Senior Coffee” special at his local coffee shop became such a hassle that now he just pays the full price in order to avoid the awkward “you’re not really that old! Let me see your ID” conversation with the barista -especially when there’s a long line behind him.
And there were the before-and-after pictures to prove it. Before: Smiling and wrinkly. After: Smiling and unwrinkly. In both, the bald head and distinctive ears said this was the same guy.
Frank told us that after just two weeks of using LifeCell, people at his firm were asking if he had “got some work done”. By the 4th week, everyone was convinced he had gone under the knife.
Odd that I’d never seen or heard of Frank. So I Googled him. Hmm, nothing. LinkedIn? Nothing. OK, surely he’ll be listed in the official Board of Bar Overseers directory. What, no Frank Rosen?
All at once, the ad’s promise that I, too, could have George Clooney’s “youthful good looks” withered. But wait. Maybe Frank worked inhouse and hadn’t been admitted to the Massachusetts bar.
So I searched Google for Frank’s image, searching for other images similar to both the wrinkled and unwrinkled Frank Rosen pictured in the ad. Imagine my surprise when the search took me to iStockphoto.com, the stock photography site. Could it be that this Boston M&A lawyer also has a side career as a photography model?
Either that or he doesn’t exist.
Poor Frank. Turns out other sites are also using his photo under seemingly false pretenses. There is, for example, the client testimonials page of a financial adviser in Australia that bears this same image. There, he is named Paul and no mention is made of his law practice. Rather, Paul the client effervesces over the adviser’s ability to “find me $5,000, money I didn’t even know I had.” Although the adviser did not bring back Paul’s youthful looks, he did “reinvigorate my budget,” Paul proclaims.
I went to the web page of the company named in the ad and found the contact form. I sent them a message saying that I was interested in contacting Frank Rosen, the lawyer mentioned in the ad, but that I could find no contact information for him. I asked if the company would provide me with that. I received back this speedy reply:
You have contacted LifeCell.
I apologize but we cannot assist you in this matter.
Customer Support Team
The email also asked me to rate Guillermo’s reply as Great, Okay or Not Good. There should have been a fourth choice for, “Whatever I say really won’t matter.”
I’ll admit, I have an ulterior motive in tracking down Frank. If, as the ad says, Frank has found a coffee shop in Boston with a “Senior Coffee” special, then I’m getting to the age where I want to know about that. And I’m sure I won’t run into any of Frank’s problems with getting carded there to prove my age.
So Frank, if you read this, ping me. Otherwise, what am I to conclude? Surely, the anti-aging cream ad wasn’t deceiving me. Or perhaps it was actually a formula for disappearing cream.
Disclaimer: No actual lawyers were harmed in the making of this blog post — at least as far as I can tell.