As the enormous and bespectacled eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg looked out on The Great Gatsby's Valley of Ashes, Tyler Flood now watches over Washington Avenue from a billboard on Sandman Street. It went up just in time for New Year's Eve.
The billboard is the latest in a long line of marketing and branding efforts for Flood, a local attorney who specializes in DWI defense and was the focus of a November 5 cover story. He has also put his name and/or likeness on everything from pens and billboards to ads above urinals, on top of an extensive online effort that includes numerous Web sites and a now-defunct Twitter account called DWIGOD.
"That is the perfect location," Flood says of the new billboard, noting that driving down the popular night-spot strip on a weekend night is "like driving through HPD's parking lot."
In the wake of the article, in which Flood discussed his tremendously high success rates in getting clients, many of whom he said are intoxicated, out of DWI convictions, some commenters and fellow lawyers predicted Flood was in for a day of reckoning, with the bar and otherwise.
But Flood was recently pegged to give the Houston Bar Association's annual DWI law presentation on January 14. And he has even started hosting his own radio show, "Law & Disorder," which debuted on CNN 650 this past Sunday.
Flood, after getting some last-minute pointers from Kevin Price of "The Price of Business," began by announcing that the show would cover "everything from celebrity fights to your individual rights."
He has had at least one recent hiccup, however. The light on his billboard was turning off at midnight. After some arguing, Flood now pays an extra $100 a month to keep himself illuminated throughout the night.
"I'm a DWI lawyer," he says. "Don't you think that I would want it on all night long?"
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