Baltimore attorney's oeuvre: 40 years of iconic TV commercials

Personal injury attorney’s ads are sometimes controversial

By Louis Krauss
BridgeTower Media Newswires

BALTIMORE, MD — Baltimore-area TV viewers know what to expect when they see (and hear) attorney Barry Glazer’s iconic commercials: a raft of gold award statues lined up behind him and a pugnacious take on current events delivered in a thick Baltimore accent.

In the ads, which Glazer says he has created for 40 years, the lawyer offers his personal opinions on city politics and national news, diatribes that seemingly have no connection to his Baltimore medical malpractice firm, which has advocated for the “injured, disabled and urinated upon since 1968,” according to one commercial.

A recent commercial features a cold open where Glazer criticizes Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison for his privacy concerns about a surveillance plane program given the number of murders and shootings in the city.

“Two hundred and thirty-two murders, 555 shootings in nine months ... and the police commissioner is worried about surveillance aircrafts viewing the tops of peoples’ heads?” Glazer says incredulously. “Don’t urinate on my leg and tell me it’s raining. Commissioner, go back to New Orleans.”

That phrase — “don’t urinate on my leg” — has become a staple for Glazer, who said he is recognized in Baltimore because of the commercials and is frequently asked to be photographed with people.
“It’s really blown up,” said Glazer, who grew up in the Pimlico neighborhood of Baltimore. “Now I even see people taking pictures outside my office.”

They don’t just take pictures: Drunken people on tandem bicycles have ridden past his office in Federal Hill and shouted out his name, he said.

Glazer said he does the commercials as a way to engage with the community. He added that he started using the “don’t urinate on my leg” line around 15 years ago after he heard someone else say it.

In a Baltimore Reddit post asking if anyone has actually called Glazer after watching the commercials, one top-rated comment says: “If I ever get urinated upon, he’s the first guy I’m calling.”

The commercials have led to numerous phone calls asking for his legal services over the years, but Glazer says that 90% of the time nothing comes of the calls. That said, many of the people he has represented called him after seeing his ads, Glazer said.

Glazer says the commercials’ goal is to get viewers to understand him as a person and to lay out a point or an opinion that he thinks would benefit the community.

“I’m providing a service in the process. If I can add something to somebody’s knowledge, belief or make a difference politically, I think it’s a good ad,” Glazer said. “It doesn’t hurt that if they talk about the ad, they talk about me.”

Glazer said that he writes all the commercials himself and that the subject is usually recent news that stimulates his interest.

The timing of the commercials is also notable. Glazer’s more recent ads were strategically placed during breaks in “Better Call Saul,” a show focused on a criminal lawyer — that is, a lawyer who’s a criminal — that’s a spinoff of the HBO series “Breaking Bad.” Glazer said the placement was a decision made by his advertising agent, who places Glazer’s ads with various Baltimore television stations and with Comcast.

Some of the ads are particularly controversial. Glazer’s latest offering — in which he says prostitution should be legal — was banned by most local TV stations. Undeterred, Glazer took out a commercial spot to state – in big silver letters – that viewers should search “Barry Glazer Shock” on YouTube to find the banned ad.

The banned commercial deals with the high-profile case of a massage parlor in Jupiter, Florida, where New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft was charged for soliciting prostitution. Glazer said he felt excessive attention was paid to Kraft and to his visiting the massage parlor for sex.

“Investigating prostitution in massage parlors is every male cop’s dream job,” Glazer states in the commercial without any introduction. “No self-indulgent, several-month orgy is needed to prove human trafficking.
Knock on the door and ask them.”

One local TV station played the massage parlor ad for two weeks, but after numerous complaints the station finally took it off the air, Glazer said.

Glazer likes catchy phrases in the courtroom too. For each case his firm takes on, he said, he advises his team of five lawyers to consider phrases that might get the jury on their client’s side.

“If there’s something catchy that the jury can latch onto, I try to find it,” Glazer said.

Nowadays, Glazer doesn’t represent clients in court much himself, but he makes sure his firm’s website directs visitors to a database of his commercials.