- Ad Age reported on Thursday that Tamara Ingram, most recently chief client team officer at WPP, had been named to the CEO position at J. Walter Thompson (JWT). Per Ad Age, Ingram is known as a "great team builder," and somebody whom WPP CEO Martin Sorrell has said is "smart, tough and fair, and draws out the very best in people."
- JWT's now-former CEO Gustavo Martinez quit this week not long after being named in a discrimination lawsuit alleging sexist and racist behavior, according to the Wall Street Journal.
- JWT is part of the WPP network of ad agencies, and earlier this week the parent company confirmed in a memo that it was authorizing an outside legal investigation of the allegations against Martinez.
WPP released a statement that Martinez’s resignation was by mutual agreement for the best interest of JWT.
The lawsuit that precipitated the move was filed by Erin Johnson, chief communications officer at JWT, against JWT and Martinez with allegations the CEO subjected Johnson to an “unending stream of racist and sexist comments as well as unwanted touching and other unlawful conduct.” The suit claimed gender discrimination and a violation of Johnson’s civil rights, as well as making offensive racial and ethnic comments.
At the time of the suit, Martinez issued a statement through WPP that professed innocent: “I want to assure our clients and my colleagues that there is absolutely no truth to these outlandish allegations and I am confident that this will be proven in court.”
The shake up comes at a time when the ad industry is still working to shake off an image that sexual and other discrimination is part of the business, something that Mad Men effectively turned into a cultural meme.