Jason Dooris, the embattled CEO of independent agency Atomic 212°, has resigned, B&T can reveal.
B&T has contacted the agency for comment, but understands a formal announcement will not be made until Atomic 212° staff have been informed of Dooris’ decision, understood to be later in the day.
It’s believed that Dooris has advised colleagues that he is leaving the advertising industry for good and will be relocating himself and his family to the UK to seek new ventures outside of the media/advertising landscape.
Atomic 212° (which Dooris reportedly owns a 50 per cent stake in) has been under intense industry scrutiny of late following allegations it embellished and possibly lied to win industry awards and, in doing so, drove business to the agency.
The allegations are, as yet, wholly unproven and B&T understands could be subject to further litigation.
Dooris had apparently been planning his departure from the agency for some time and his resignation is not thought to be related to the kerfuffle surrounding the agency’s awards entries.
B&T understands a number of candidates have already been interviewed as Dooris’ possible successor.
In 2016, Atomic 212° was awarded Agency of the Year at the B&T Awards. The entry was awarded fairly on its merits and judged by an independent and impartial panel.
Responding to industry speculation it had possibly cheated on its award entries, Atomic 212° issued a statement on behalf of Dooris in early December that read: “As an agency that prides itself on its clients, work, team and reputation, it is important to address this issue. We want any award won by Atomic 212° to be undisputed and celebrated.
“We have had claims reported back to us that our award submission contained misleading information. We refute this.
“As a new type of agency that combines creative, media, data, technology and many other emerging services under one roof and business, there is a challenge determining where we fit into many awards programs.
“In competing in awards events, we always seek to find common metrics and values that allow achievements or client value to be compared across service lines. This is no easy task.
“After questions were raised, we set about reviewing individual awards from the perspective of the lowest baseline; are our submissions clear and obvious enough? Is the context sufficient to tell the full story we need to tell? Can the juror distinguish between creative achievements, media achievements or technology service and software sales achievements?
“Does any lack of clarity around these distinctions cloud a jurors’ ability to make accurate comparisons between an Atomic 212° submission and that of another organisation?”