Former JWT Global CEO Finally Turfed After Sexual Harassment Court Case

Former JWT Global CEO Finally Turfed After Sexual Harassment Court Case
SHARE
THIS



Gustavo Martinez has officially parted ways with J. Walter Thompson (JWT) and parent company WPP two months after settling a sexual harassment case brought by a female colleague.

A WPP spokesperson has said Martinez has left the company.

“Gustavo Martinez and WPP have agreed it is in the best interests of both parties for him to pursue his career outside the group,” said a WPP spokesperson.

Martinez’s departure precedes a meeting of WPP’s AGM scheduled for this week, the first since Sir Martin Sorrell’s exit, himself under a cloud of “personal misconduct”.

The action was brought against Martinez, the one-time global CEO, by then JWT head of communications Erin Johnson.

Johnson filed the sexual harassment lawsuit against both JWT and Martinez in 2016, citing Martinez’s “unending stream of racist and sexist comments” as her motivation for opening the case.

The lawsuit came to an end when both parties agreed to settle for an undisclosed sum.

The case captivated the global communications industry since the case was first filed in the Court of the Southern District of New York on March 10, 2016, thereby making the case public.

After the settlement, a JWT spokesperson said, “[JWT has] reached an amicable settlement agreement with Erin Johnson, chief communications officer of the J. Walter Thompson company, in the Johnson vs. J. Walter Thompson lawsuit.

“The terms of the agreement are confidential and will not be disclosed.”

Meanwhile, Johnson released a public statement of her own after the settlement which read, “The past few years have been challenging to say the least, and I am grateful for the love and encouragement from family, friends and those of you in the industry who spoke up and offered support. Thank you,”

“Most importantly, I would like to thank Anne Vladeck, Debra Raskin and Jeremiah Iadevaia at Vladeck, Raskin & Clark—a brilliant legal team and force to be reckoned with. I hope that my personal experience will encourage others to speak up and follow their convictions.

“Moving forward, I wish Tam (JWT CEO Tamara Ingram) and the JWT team success.”

Although Johnson resigned after the settlement, Martinez remained employed by WPP as a ‘country representative’ for Spain.

Martinez was global CEO and chairman of JWT from January 2015 until April 2016.

After initially standing by the CEO, who was widely seen as a rising star within the holding group, WPP announced Martinez’s resignation a week after news of the suit went public and promoted WPP chief client team officer Ingram to replace him.

Johnson’s legal team later released video of Martinez joking about rape at an agency meeting.

In the wake of the #MeToo movement gaining momentum, industry figures have commented that they hope this is the last time allegations of sexual misconduct within the industry will be dealt with under a shroud of mystery.

There is some speculation that Martinez’s departure will be seen as an inflexion point for the industry as its largest company cleans up its act.

Please login with linkedin to comment

    Latest comments
  • Anne Miles 3 years ago

    The only way this got traction was evidence. So good that there were witnesses and tangible proof for the right thing to be done.

gustavo martinez J Walter Thompson JWT WPP

Latest News

“We’re In Big-Bang Readiness”: Flight Centre To Ramp Up Media Buying Activity
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

“We’re In Big-Bang Readiness”: Flight Centre To Ramp Up Media Buying Activity

Flight Centre Travel Group is anticipating some of its biggest years of growth as Australia’s vaccination rollout gains momentum, travel restrictions ease and international borders start re-opening. With travel industry leaders forecasting unprecedented demand for both domestic and international travel as the world moves into a phase of post-COVID management, Flight Centre Australia general manager […]

Acast Announces New Podcast ‘The Elements’
  • Media

Acast Announces New Podcast ‘The Elements’

From the audio producer of The Teacher’s Pet comes The Elements, a new Acast Creator Network podcast hosted by Thredbo survivor Stuart Diver. The Elements is a  podcast that journeys into the heart of surviving a natural disaster and will be hosted and distributed by the creator-first podcast company Acast as part of the Acast Creator […]

Herd MSL Announces Foxtel Account Win
  • Advertising
  • Marketing

Herd MSL Announces Foxtel Account Win

Comms agency Herd MSL announces Foxtel win. Forgoes office party poppers on account of the new $1300 Dyson cordless vac.

DoubleVerify Launches Enhancements To Brand Safety And Suitability Solution
  • Technology

DoubleVerify Launches Enhancements To Brand Safety And Suitability Solution

DoubleVerify has today announced enhancements to its brand safety and suitability solution that include the introduction of DV’s Brand Safety Floor as a turnkey option, extending Brand Suitability Tiers on YouTube, and more. Available to both advertisers and publishers since January 2021, Brand Suitability Tiers allow brands to align suitability settings with their own unique standards, […]

Aimee Buchanan Lands GroupM CEO Job
  • Media

Aimee Buchanan Lands GroupM CEO Job

Aimee Buchanan quits OMD to take up GroupM CEO role. Leaving gift ideas include mounted moose head & ALDI traffic cones.

Retired Marketing Man Andrew Piccoli Speaks About His Children’s Book ‘Dexter The Dahu’
  • Marketing

Retired Marketing Man Andrew Piccoli Speaks About His Children’s Book ‘Dexter The Dahu’

Andrew Piccoli spent his career overseeing some of Australia’s most memorable ad campaigns. Now, he has turned his attention to a particular area of passion: children’s literature. Now retired, Piccoli spent the COVID-19 lockdown writing the story of Dexter the Dahu for children aged between five and nine. He has donated a copy of the charming […]