More than a year-and-a-half after he was fired from Droga5 following allegations posted by anonymous Instagram account Diet Madison Avenue, former New York Chief Creative Officer Ted Royer reemerged in the public eye yesterday.
Royer spoke in Las Vegas at the London International Awards’ Creative Liaisons, the award show’s program dedicated to nurturing rising advertising talents.
“I’m here because I believe in face-to-face communication and I don’t want to hide any more,” he told a conference room full of the program’s young global creatives, as well as a number of the top industry execs serving as LIA jurors, some who paused their all-day judging sessions to hear him speak.
From 2012 until his widely-publicized split from Droga5, he had been a regular speaker at Creative Liaisons. His previous presentations had centered on advice for promising talents as they progress in their careers. In this hour-plus long session, he continued to share advice, but also took the opportunity to open up about his own experiences during and after the DMA allegations that appeared on social media.
“My agenda today is going to be about events that happened that got me to leave Droga5, that got me fired, and I want to tell you those because I want to put them in context for the year-and-a-half that followed, and the things I’ve come to know and believe since then that I feel have led to a stronger life,” Royer said.
Prior to this, none of the creatives who had been accused of misconduct in DMA social posts have spoken publicly at length about their experiences—though at least in one instance, former Martin Agency CCO Joe Alexander, did issue a statement on DMA’s actions that took away his “good name” without giving him a chance to defend himself, as part of a lawsuit he filed last month against the individuals behind the anonymous account.
“We live in a country that has due process and laws that allow an accused the right to face their accuser,” said LIA Founder and President Barbara Levy on why she invited Royer to return to speak. “I do not believe than an anonymous social media platform that does not allow the accused to respond should be allowed to indict, try and convict anyone.”
Royer, noticeably uneasy at times, thanked the audience. “I really want to acknowledge the Liaisons, the young creatives who don’t know me but may know me by my reputation, both good and recently horrible,” he said. “I thank you very much and I want to acknowledge you for listening and giving me a chance today.”
He then spent the opening portion of his speech addressing the posts and statements DMA had made prior to his departure from Droga5. Slide by slide, he went through the various allegations, including one post that placed his name at the top of a list of other alleged harassers in the industry.
“That was the worst day of my life by far,” …read more
Via:: Ad Age B to B