Highlights From The Lawsuit Alleging Racism In Interpublic's 'Whites Only Plantation'

plantation house

Photo: Prayitno / Flickr, CC

The race discrimination lawsuit filed against ad agency holding company Interpublic Group by Joy C. Noel, a legal secretary and administrator, is long on generalities—an accompanying press release describes IPG as a “whites only” “plantation”—but short on specifics.Noel, who has worked at Interpublic since 1993, claims she was passed over for promotion and paid less than white colleagues, and that white executives with less experience were given more favourable treatment. Interpublic owns agencies such as DraftFCB and McCann Erickson.

Interpublic told Ad Age that it denies the claims.

The suit contains these juicy morsels of gossip about life inside svp/general counsel Nicholas J. Camera’s office:

  • Former tax attorney supervisor Arthur Mason once allegedly told Noel, “IPG is a difficult place to work. It is obvious that Black employees are treated differently. It will be difficult to move up within the company.”
  • After Noel complained to the  Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, her workload was reduced and she was assigned to assist assistant general counsel William Crosby, “who is himself only an ostracized figurehead” inside IPG, the suit claims. (His LinkedIn page says he’s “head of Litigation. Also responsible for bankruptcy matters.”)
  • Associate general counsel Marjorie Mary Hoey treated Noel “as a mere servant, there to meet her personal needs,” but doesn’t cite anything specific beyond being asked to handle papers related to Hoey’s law practice.

See Also:

  • Why Facebook’s ad prices collapsed in Q1 2012
  • Tumblr will start selling ad units on May 2
  • How Omnicom’s John Wren gets bonuses for failing, dying and going on vacation


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