Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Innovative marketing - lawyer-style

One of the best innovative marketing strategies I recently came across, is the brainchild of the Cueto Law Group. This Miami, Florida-based law firm allows its clients to pay up to 20 percent of their legal fees with carbon credits. (Click here for the press release)

Carbon credit trade works as follows: a fixed, high penalty rate is applied to emissions that exceed a set target and firms are free to buy qualifying credits on the open market to bring their balance below the target level. The price of carbon on the open market will vary from scheme to scheme but is guaranteed to be lower than the penalty rate. Hence an upper bound is set for the price of carbon and classical market efficiencies force the real price of carbon emissions as low as possible. Carbon credits thus represent permits to emit climate-warming greenhouse gases. One carbon credit unit is commonly equal to one ton of carbon dioxide emissions.

Under the law firm’s program called “CO Too,” its clients can pay with carbon credits which the company can then trade in the international carbon markets.
"Our CO Too program is a way to help the environment, while at the same time providing an alternative way for clients to pay for professional services. We are proud to be leading the legal industry in this initiative,” said Cueto.

Mr. Cueto went on to say that he is optimistic that other industries will follow his company's lead. He stressed that carbon credits have gained significance as a legitimate currency with which to transact business.

"The current economic climate is a golden opportunity for the professional services industry to develop new ways to tackle global emissions.” He went on to say that credits represent a “paradigm shift” in the way business is transacted.

The global carbon credit market was valued at $126 billion in 2008. The World Bank estimates that the market could grow up to $150 billion by the end of 2009.

The Cueto Law Group consists of Santiago A. Cueto and his associate in Lima, Peru. Established in June, 2009 they are largely doing litigation for international clients with U.S. problems.

Cueto obviously knows a thing or two about marketing – his website is a textbook example of the latest trend in corporate website design, including news feeds, blog, etc. His timing is also impeccable – he launched his “CO Too” program during the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference 2009.

Although no clients took Cueto up on his offer yet, the media impact was a marketer's dream come true.
Prominent WSJ blogger Ashby Jones interviewed Cueto and quite a few eco magazines and blogs picked up the story, including Ecoseed and Mother Nature Network.

It shows how a clever marketing idea announced in a press release distributed via PR Newswire can put a small law firm firmly on the map.

(illustraton courtesy of www.toothpastefordinner.com)

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