In marketing, having an easily recognised logo or style which encapsulates the brand is half the battle. Heinz baked beans have their distinctive label design, Kellogg’s cornflakes have the green cockerel and legal aid used to have its two figures at a table. The last government went through a rebranding exercise after the Access to Justice Act (1999) when the legal aid brand was junked in favour of the Criminal Defence Service (CDS) and the Community Legal Service (CLS). This rebranding was an expensive flop and we argue that the current government should move decisively to bring back the old brand.
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Of course, the term 'legal aid' is still widely used to describe the services provided by the CDS and the CLS. Both these services got branding and associated logos, which have never caught on. As well as being cheap (the logo is already designed!), readopting the legal aid brand would help with legal aid’s profile in what are difficult times. A further reduction in the number of high street firms is likely (see 'Justice committee slams government's legal aid plans'), which means a strong marketing strategy is essential as the public needs to know that services are still available. It would also, perhaps, show some indication from the government that it is not just content to allow legal aid to wither away as a public service.