Should lawyers be allowed to advertise?

For most of the 20th century, bar associations forbade nearly all forms of attorney advertising; you could be disbarred for hawking your services on anything other than a business card. Bar associations thought big bold ads were unprofessional, would stir up unnecessary lawsuits, would drive up prices and could even result in a decrease in the quality of legal services, thanks to increased competition. In the 1970s, the Supreme Court ruled that such "commercial speech" by lawyers was subject to First Amendment protection, and that was the end of the ban.

These days, lawyers are famous for being among the loudest of local advertisers, and our airwaves and billboards are flooded with ads that make my skin crawl a bit -- in particular, the price wars on who can offer the cheapest divorce (the example above caused an uproar and was ripped down by the city of Chicago after just a week) inspire in me a momentary pessimism about human nature.

Best of all, though, are the TV ads. Check out these two excellently slimy commercials, both by guys who call themselves "The Hammer."




So, I ask you -- was the seventy-year ban on lawyer ads the right thing to do?

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Netflix's Most-Binged Shows of 2017, Ranked

Netflix might know your TV habits better than you do. Recently, the entertainment company's normally tight-lipped number-crunchers looked at user data collected between November 1, 2016 and November 1, 2017 to see which series people were powering through and which ones they were digesting more slowly. By analyzing members’ average daily viewing habits, they were able to determine which programs were more likely to be “binged” (or watched for more than two hours per day) and which were more often “savored” (or watched for less than two hours per day) by viewers.

They found that the highest number of Netflix bingers glutted themselves on the true crime parody American Vandal, followed by the Brazilian sci-fi series 3%, and the drama-mystery 13 Reasons Why. Other shows that had viewers glued to the couch in 2017 included Anne with an E, the Canadian series based on L. M. Montgomery's 1908 novel Anne of Green Gables, and the live-action Archie comics-inspired Riverdale.

In contrast, TV shows that viewers enjoyed more slowly included the Emmy-winning drama The Crown, followed by Big Mouth, Neo Yokio, A Series of Unfortunate Events, GLOW, Friends from College, and Ozark.

There's a dark side to this data, though: While the company isn't around to judge your sweatpants and the chip crumbs stuck to your couch, Netflix is privy to even your most embarrassing viewing habits. The company recently used this info to publicly call out a small group of users who turned their binges into full-fledged benders:

Oh, and if you're the one person in Antarctica binging Shameless, the streaming giant just outed you, too.

Netflix broke down their full findings in the infographic below and, Big Brother vibes aside, the data is pretty fascinating. It even includes survey data on which shows prompted viewers to “Netflix cheat” on their significant others and which shows were enjoyed by the entire family.

Netflix infographic "The Year in Bingeing"


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