An ad agency with offices in Detroit, LA, NYC and San Antonio is losing clients as the result of a racist email by an employee.
According to Adweek, “Campbell Ewald made headlines both in and out of the advertising world in January for firing CEO Jim Palmer over a staffer’s racist email, and the incident still seems to be casting a shadow over the agency.”
Now, Adweek reports “two key clients have chosen to follow the lead of USAA, which terminated its contract with the IPG shop days after the story came to light. Financial services company Edward Jones and Detroit-based healthcare organization Henry Ford Health System will not renew their current Campbell Ewald contracts, which expire on April 17 and May 31, respectively.
“Although Edward Jones would not comment on why it was ending its relationship with Campbell Ewald, a Henry Ford Health System spokesperson confirmed that its decision was linked to the agency’s high-profile incident of racial insensitivity by a creative director.
“”The decision was the result of serious consideration by our leadership team,” the brand representative said. “We assessed our partnership based on our values and commitment to supporting a diverse culture.”
“At issue is an email sent by Jim Houck, an executive creative director in the agency’s San Antonio office. The email invited staffers to a “Ghetto Days” event at the Texas office, promising “ghetto music, Malt 45s at lunch, and of course, drugs and prostitution are legal all day.”
“The email was sent in October 2015, but Houck wasn’t fired until the message was published by Adweek’s AgencySpy blog in January.”