Nearly two years after he was terminated from The Martin Agency for alleged sexual harassment, the agency’s former Chief Creative Officer Joe Alexander is suing Diet Madison Avenue, the anonymous industry group dedicated to exposing sexual misconduct by Adlanders.
In the same suit, filed yesterday in U.S. District Court in Richmond, VA, Adweek and one of the trade publication’s former writer/editors Patrick Coffee (now with Business Insider) are also named as defendants, as are “DMA Doe Defendants 1-17.”
Curiously, neither the agency nor its parent, Interpublic are named as defendants in the suit, even though Alexander goes into great detail in his complaint about how both entities allegedly worked together to gin up sex harassment claims against him.
They did so, he argues, to get DMA off their backs, essentially using him as a “sacrifice” to make it happen.
That’s not dissimilar from an argument Ralph Watson used earlier this year in a Colorado suit against his former agency Crispin Porter Bogusky (where he was Chief Creative Officer) and its parent MDC Partners, after he was terminated for alleged sexual harassment. That case is closed for now, but could reopen, pending a related and ongoing suit by Watson against DMA in New York.
Watson and Alexander were both outed on the DMA Instagram account as sex harassers before they were terminated by their agencies. Both have denied wrongdoing.
Alexander claims that DMA helped ruin his career by spreading intentionally false allegations that he was a sex predator. He claims Adweek and Coffee were “agents” or possibly “members” of the group and conspired with it to help ruin his career. That seems a little farfetched, but the man is entitled to have his day in court.
He didn’t sue TheWall Street Journal, which published this damning piece about his alleged harassment activities shortly after he was let go.