The Interpublic Group today said it has fired Detroit-based Campbell Ewald CEO Jim Palmer. Agency president Kevin Wertz is taking the helm of the agency effective immediately, the holding company said, in a terse two-sentence release issued this morning.
Palmer was terminated after a racist memo was circulated at the agency’s San Antonio office late last year by an unidentified white staffer in the creative department. AgencySpy reported on the memo earlier this week, noting that the creative was fired just recently.
The memo declared that the office would be celebrating “Ghetto Day in the SA and we’re inviting our Big D homebitches to cycle in and pop a freak with us.” The racist note continued in the same vein for another paragraph or two and was accompanied by a picture of two African American men.
It wasn’t immediately clear why Palmer did not take swifter action to terminate the person who sent the memo, although it's likely a large part of why he was fired. Also, he failed to quickly inform holding company higher-ups about the misconduct.
An IPG rep said the company had no further comment on the matter.
This story has been updated to correct the name of the Campbell Ewald CEO that IPG terminated. His name is Jim Palmer, not Jim Campbell.