Campbell Ewald CEO Fired After Employee’s Racist Email – Wall Street Journal
said it has fired the chief executive of its Campbell Ewald agency, a move that comes days after a racist email from one of the agency’s creative directors circulated on the Internet.
”Interpublic Group announced that it has terminated Jim Palmer, the CEO of Campbell Ewald, effectively immediately. Leadership of the organization will be assumed by Kevin Wertz, the agency’s President,” the company said Friday in a statement. An Interpublic spokesman declined to comment further on Mr. Palmer’s termination.
AgencySpy on Tuesday published an email sent last year from a creative director in Campbell Ewald’s San Antonio office inviting colleagues to a so-called “Ghetto Day in the SA” event. The email included the picture of two African American men and called for “ghetto music, Malt 45s at lunch, ghetto terminology, and of course, drugs and prostitute are legal all day until close of business.”
Mr. Palmer, who had served as the agency’s CEO since 2013, did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent through LinkedIn.
A person familiar with the matter said Campbell Ewald had not informed Interpublic about the email. The holding company’s management found out about the email on Tuesday, after it had been published in the trade press, and the creative director who sent out the original email was fired, the person said.
USAA, a financial services provider that serves members of the military and their families, on Friday said it has given Campbell Ewald notice of contract termination.
“We will be searching for a new agency that aligns with USAA’s culture and core values,” said USAA spokesman Roger Wildermuth. The USAA account had been with Campbell Ewald since January 2009.
The Campbell Ewald creative director who sent the controversial email worked on the USAA business, according to a person familiar with the matter.
“USAA remains a valued IPG client,” an Interpublic spokesman said in a statement. “ We plan to transition our USAA team into a standalone, purpose-built entity over the next few months, so as to assure continuity in the outstanding, business-building programs we deliver for this client.”
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