afaqs! news bureau

DDB is being sued for USD 100 million…

… By Hero Collective, a New York-based black-owned agency over the US Army account.

The Hero Group, a New York-based ad agency that is also called Hero Collective has sued agency network Omnicom-owned DDB, an ad agency for USD 100 million in federal court. Hero has claimed DDB used it to win the US Army account and did not pay for two years of work.

“In January 2017, I signed an agreement with DDB to partner with them in pursuit of the 4Billion US Army contract… It's been over two years since DDB was awarded the US Army account and I still have yet to see a dime for my contribution. This stops today! Today I fight! Today we start to take back what we are owed. I am doing this not just for myself but for every Black and Minority-owned agency that has been marginalized by big agencies motivated by greed!,” said Joseph Anthony, founder of Hero Collective in a LinkedIn post.

As per Business Insider, “The suit alleges Hero Group specialized in targeting young people and would also help DDB meet the legal requirement to assign around 40% of the Army business to small and disadvantaged, or minority-owned, businesses.”

Anthony told Reel Chicago, a digital publication tracking Chicago’s visual media industry, “At first, we signed a ‘Teaming Agreement’ where DDB engaged us as a business partner and should we win, we were guaranteed assignments commensurate with their own. The review took years and was contested by McCann and WPP."

He further said, "We were strung along for six months before the subcontractor agreement finally arrived. But when we looked it over it, the agreement was stripped of any specificity. The language was different from the Teaming Agreement. The principle deal points were gone.”

“The contract says they [Army] must approve every subcontractor. Once Army let us know that we weren’t presented to them we put two and two together. We suspected fraud. And here we are — suing,” Anthony said.