The ad world is agog at the $56 million lawsuit filed by Steven Dworin against his erstwhile business partner and advertising superbrat, Donny Deutsch.
In the suit, Dworin alleges all sorts of foul and fetid foolishness on the part of Deutsch to attract and maintain business, including such gems as:
– using the excuse that his grandmother died to miss client meetings on several separate occasions
– improperly padding advertising production invoices (this is a biggie and could cause a major crisis if true)
– grossly exaggerating the size and capabilities of the agency up to, and including, the creation of totally false internal phone directories containing the names of fictitious employees (this tact brings back memories of my former firm which had gone through a series of downsizings and was a shell of its former self. To convince prospective clients otherwise, though, the CEO would have his admin place all sorts of folders and personal effects on empty desks to make it seem as if the "workers" were merely taking a break)
Dworin’s allegations go on and on, and mention Donny’s "…frequent trips to the lavatory, emerging with constant sniffing, and his subsequent incoherence in meetings." My favorite charge, though, has to be the quote from the agency’s then largest client, Steen Cantor, the president of Ikea, who Dworin quotes as saying he didn’t trust the agency because, "…Donny blows smoke up my ass, he is full of shit."
I’d have to believe Donny has his personal spinmeisters working 24×7 to combat Dworin’s attacks. But, what about his agency? How would you like to work at a place that’s accused of perpetrating so many heinous frauds? It would have to be demoralizing to say the least. And, what if you were a current Deutsch client? Might you think twice about reviewing that next invoice? I know I would.
I just hope my business partner, Ed, doesn’t decide to write a Dworin-type "kiss-and-tell" book one day. One thing’s for sure, though. I’m going to cut down on the number of men’s room visits I make during the day.