There's an insurance broker who has spent a lot of money advertising this year. Every phone book in this area came with a fridge magnet attached to the cover. This fellow operates out of a town that's about 75 miles away, so I'm not sure if his magnet is attached to all the phone books between here or there or not, however, either way, it's a hefty investment in advertising.
People tend to dislike insurance companies, and this "maverick" is playing up on that sentiment by billing himself as being the "most hated" by his competitors. I guess he would like people to think of him as the Robin Hood of the insurance world. To me, this seems to be more like sophomoric posturing than anything else. The little "As seen on TV" tag beside his photograph really seals the deal. While some of his clients may believe him to be "cool", as evidenced by the testimonial on the magnet, he comes off as more of a clown in my eyes.
Even though he doesn't directly express the notion, there's a clear implication in this advertising that everybody else in his industry is somewhat crooked by charging too much, and that he's the guy who will fight for the little guys. I don't think that he's doing anybody a service by promulgating this belief. I'm sure that the long term effects of promoting this image of himself will be more harmful to his career, especially when others in his business start looking down their noses at him.
I'm not sure that I would want someone who revels in being "the most hated" working for me. If someone, by virtue of their diligence, is disliked by others in their industry, then that would be a different story. It should be a side effect, not a goal, and I would be comfortable with that. To focus on this one aspect and let it become the main thrust of an advertising campaign seems very crass and immature.
There are real estate professionals who also try to use negative advertising in their campaigns. I haven't seen anything as blatant as this yet, but I'm sure it's coming, especially after The Canadian Real Estate Association has reached a very public agreement with the Competition Bureau. I won't be doing any such advertising myself, I'll leave that for the politicians, furniture salespeople, and the "maverick" insurance brokers who like to make their competition tremble.