Legal Copy Hurting Response

In the DM News August 20, 2007 issue, freelance copywriter Mark Hallen brought up an interesting point in his article. I was one of Mark’s clients when he was at Grey Direct, so I know he has good instincts about how people react to direct response communications. He writes:

“It’s literally getting to the point where we’re having to cut sell copy and change designs to make room for a double-digit number of footnotes and disclaimers.”

Mark wonders if this development over time is hurting response. He believes that it certainly is not helping improve response. Though not tested to his knowledge, he senses that this imbalance may be costing companies more than they realize in the form of reduced response.

I have observed that the balance of power between marketers and the legal department has changed in favor of the lawyers.

Have any of you tested the impact of legal copy on response rates? Are you still able to challenge legal decisions within your company and win? Will this problem continue to worsen, or will the balance between legal risk and reduced marketing effectiveness reverse itself?

Posted on August 30, 2007 and filed under Direct Response Creative.