JWT’s “put me in a box” says Johnson as l’affaire Martinez rumbles on

They still don’t seem to be happy bunnies at JWT New York despite chief communications officer Erin Johnson’s return to work and the replacement of macho global CCO Gustavo Martinez by the supposedly nicer Brit Tamara Ingram.

The rather large fly in the ointment, of course, is the fact that Johnson (below) is still suing Martinez over sexist behaviour (he’s now working on Nestle for WPP) and JWT. Which, one might have thought, would lead to a spot of tension here and there.


Now Johnson’s lawyers have written to District Court Judge Paul Oetken who’s hearing the case, complaining that Johnson has been “put in a box,” stationed outside the HR department so they can keep an eye on her. Others at JWT shun her, she claims, as they don’t want to get caught by flying shrapnel. She’s also complained that she’s no longer allowed to speak to the media – hardly surprising as they’re likely to ask her about her.

It really is a fine old mess (full report in MediaPost here) and may be an instance (treading carefully here) where WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell’s combative nature is rather getting in the way of a sensible settlement: big cheque and thanks-through-clenched-teeth from JWT et al.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.