Monday, August 24, 2009

Thomson West: Epic PR Fail

One more time, West stumbles over its own feet in its haste to offend the librarian community... They came out with nifty little "cards" aimed at practitioners, "Are you on a first name basis with the librarian? If so, you're spending too much time in the library." See the card reproduced for your viewing pleasure above. The librarian community was chatting about the card on Law-Lib and Craig Griffith of West did come out and claim that he had no knowledge of the ad campaign, and said the slogan did not represent West's attitude toward librarians... Well, it's a little late, though.

In the meantime, all this summer,...

* West finally pissed off the AALL Executive Board enough that they passed up the money and refused to accept Thomson-Reuters-West as a Sponsor at AALL this year, because for years the company has flatly refused to cooperate by supplying any information for the AALL Price Index. Every other vendor and publisher supplies the pricing for its supplements so that AALL can maintain this very useful measurement of how much various types of legal publications are costing from year to year, not by publisher, but by type, over time. But without the participation of the largest legal publisher, the index becomes nearly meaningless. Hooray for the AALL Board for finally putting pressure on West!

* West began pulling the free printers from the law school in Puerto Rico. At first, it looked as though this was the only law school to be so treated. But after I blogged about this in June, I heard from the director at Southern New England School of Law that West had treated them the same way. I surmise that it's because they are non-ABA-accredited. And since Marie just posted again with a fire-brand letter from one of the professors at Puerto Rico, we hear from the D.C. School of Law that they also were treated the same way until their dean faced West down! Again, it sounds as though West treats non-accredited and provisionally accredited law schools differently than the fully accredited. But it also looks uncomfortably like racial and ethnic discrimination, when you look at these three schools:

** Puerto Rico - the only 100% hispanic law school;

** D.C. Law School's website proudly lists that it has 47% minority enrollment (and the blog comment noted that it has a female dean);

** Southern New England School of Law has an African American dean.

1 comment:

Betsy McKenzie said...

I should make it clear that U.D.C. law school is fully accredited and has been since 2005. My apologies to U.D.C. for any miscommunications on that score! I do not understand why West targeted this school to pull printers -- any guesses out there?