Alexei Orlov, global CEO of Omnicom direct marketing agency Rapp has resigned following allegations of bullying, sexism, racism and harassment, levelled by former Rapp US president Greg Andersen who’s been sacked. Orlov joined Rapp a year ago from Volkswagen where he was China CMO.
In an echo of L’affaire Martinez at JWT/WPP, Omnicom is vigorously contesting the case even though Orlov has gone. Orlov has been replaced by EMEA boss Marco Scognamiglio.
Is a trend emerging? Is this – alleged – behaviour what you get from certain executives of a certain age? Are we hearing more about it because the supposed victims of such discrimination are more likely to complain and take their grievances to court? Or are the pressures to deliver the numbers in the big holding companies such that people start behaving in a beastly manner under stress? Maybe it’s a bit of all three.
Why do the agency groups go on fighting such cases when the man at the top – the one in question – has resigned? Is it to mitigate damages? To fire a shot across the bows of others who may complain? Or just lawyers doing what, inimitably, they do?
Anyway that’s quite enough unanswered questions for now. But there seems to be something rotten in the state of adland. Suspect there’ll be more of these to come.