26 November 2008

John Roland, Compensated Spokesperson


I'm sorry. Can someone tell me what the deal is with "John Roland, Compensated Spokesperson"?

This slimy shyster ad, plastered over every subway station and subway car, has a hypnotic effect on me. I can't stop staring at it. Local anchor John Roland is shilling for this lousy den of sharks—I get that. But why does he look so miserable, so utterly dejected? Is there a gun to his head? He looks like the man who wakes up after an all night binge to realize he's made a terrible mistake.

And then there's the Orwellian caption, "Compensated Spokesperson." So formal, and so unnecessary, since any celebrity who appears in an ad is obviously being paid. The phrase feels somehow threatening, like the law firm has Roland over a barrel. He's taken the compensation and he's not going to get out of doing the ad, and to make sure the lawyers are going to broadcast to the world that Roland was compensated. That scenario would explain why Roland looks so unhappy.

I took the above shot through some subway bars. It seems appropriate, since Roland has the expression of someone in jail.

10 comments:

FinalShaft said...

Look John, it's just a few pictures. No one is going to see them. If you do this for me, I'll forget about that thing we discussed.

Peter said...

It could be that the disclaimer is required because Roland is a news anchor. In other words, were it not for the disclaimer, some people might be misled into believing that Roland is promoting this law firm in his official capacity. That risk wouldn't be the same with an "ordinary" celebrity.

Ken Mac said...

Hilarious post! I wonder the same thing too every time I see his dead looking mug. Maybe Roland's face is about to peel off and expose...Ernie Anastos!

Tom, UWS, New York, NY said...

So you beat me to this post by a month, but I just had to write a follow up. Thanks for starting the meme.

http://www.uwsjournal.com/2008/12/welcome-to-compensation.html

Tom

Adam Sacks said...

I completely disagree. I think John Roland is the most trustworthy compensated spokesperson in the business.

I even made a digital shrine to this man.

http://adamthinks.com/john-roland/

Peter said...

In many jurisdictions, it is illegal for a non-lawyer to hold himself out as a lawyer. I presume the disclaimer is to protect John Roland.

Joanna said...

As Mr. Roland's young (and described as beautiful) wife, all I can say is I've held off too long in responding to your comments. Those of you with negativity need to get a life (and find something more productive to do with your time...it is apparent and unfortunate for you that you don't have anything better to do when you come home at night). And please get used to seeing the photos on the subway...as the contract has just been renewed (since it has had great success). John is a person that has well-deservedly earned the public's trust over the years, which is more than any of you can ever declare. And Wilens and Baker is a reputable firm that has chosen a well-respected New Yorker to represent them. Hit the pavement and stop riding the subways if you find the ads too offensive. Turns out he has helped an endless number of people who didn't know where else to turn. Have you? Perhaps you should spend your time doing something more productive for society, rather than trying to destroy others' well-earned reputations.

P.S. I also happen to be an attorney so if you wish challenge me on any of this, feel free.

Brooks of Sheffield said...

A beautiful lawyer? It can't be true.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering if the term "compensated spokesman" also was supposed to mean that a) he's a professional spokesman, and b) he received compensation from some event because he used this law firm.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Roland should be careful about the people he associates with. People who hire reputable speakers are often looking to legitimize themselves through someone elses reputation. Some shady people use this to their advantage.