Alexander Slaps IPG, TMA With $50 Million Defamation Suit

A month after suing Diet Madison Avenue, Adweek and reporter Patrick Coffee (now with Business Insider), former The Martin Agency Chief Creative Officer Joe Alexander has slapped Interpublic Group and the agency with a $50 million-plus lawsuit in a Richmond, VA Circuit Court.

Alexander claimed in the earlier suit that DMA helped ruin his career by spreading intentionally false allegations that he was a sex predator. In the latest suit he says the agency conspired with DMA to help bring about his downfall, by among other things, leaking details of a confidential settlement agreement between the agency and Alexander, entered into regarding a 2013 harassment allegation against him.

Alexander denies all wrongdoing.

TMA CEO Kristen Cavallo, former TMA art director Sissy Estes (who accused Alexander of sex harassment) and attorney Tara Hanley are also named in the suit. Hanley represented a woman who accused Alexander of harassment. Alexander alleges that Cavallo repeatedly threw him “under the bus” after taking over as CEO at the agency in late 2017, a short time after Alexander was dismissed from the agency.



Alexander alleges that IPG ordered the agency to fire him after it learned it had leaked confidential information to DMA. Essentially, he claims he was scapegoated by the holding company in its bid to burnish an image as a staunch defender of safe, harassment-free workplaces.

Alexander further alleged the agency and the holding company “manufactured a false narrative about a claim of sexual harassment” against him. All made up and career-ruining, per the suit.

The suit devotes many pages to making the agency look like “The Joe Alexander Show” from a creative standpoint and it also rehashes much that he alleged in the earlier suit against DMA, Adweek and Coffee.

Still waiting for him to sue TheWall Street Journal for its publication of this piece.

IPG issued this comment in response to the lawsuit: “This claim is without merit, not to mention contrary to Joe Alexander’s signed agreement with our company and written apologies. We stand by our actions and will defend our position, and pursue all applicable counterclaims, vigorously.”

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