Monday, July 7, 2008

Steve Biegel and Dentsu settle

So, looks like what I was hearing last week about Steve Biegel and Dentsu settling was right. Just got a copy of this statement, entitled "Joint Written Statement Regarding the Settlement":

"Today Steve Biegel settled his lawsuit against Dentsu Holdings USA, Inc., Dentsu America, Inc., Toyo Shigeta [at the time the suit was filed CEO, Dentsu Holdings USA], and Timothy Andree [then Dentsu America CEO]. Together the parties are issuing this joint statement regarding the resolution of this dispute. Other than this joint statement, the parties will not comment further about this case or its settlement.

Steve Biegel worked as Senior Vice President, Creative Director for Dentsu, from May 1, 2003 to November 17, 2006. His termination was not performance based, in fact, Toyo Shigeta was generally satisfied with Biegel's performance on behalf of Dentsu's clients.

Certain allegations and public statements were made by all parties in connection with this litigation. Biegel brought claims for discrimination, harassment and retaliation, and Dentsu threatened to bring counterclaims for defamation and fraud which were never asserted. As a result of this settlement, those allegations and claims have been dismissed, including any potential counterclaims that have not been asserted by Dentsu. Both parties retract all public statements.

Any other terms of the settlement shall remain confidential, and the parties have agreed not to disclose anything further regarding this case or its settlement. Through this settlement, both parties wish to put the dispute behind them and move on to successful future endeavors."

I may have more to say on this later, but one part of this statement, in particular, stands out: that Dentsu has now gone back on its claims that Biegel's firing was performance-based, which, if not an admission of guilt, at least begs the question of why someone would be fired if it weren't for performance. The settlement seems to fly in the face of this choice quote from Tim Andree: "If Steve Biegel had exhibited as much creativity and effort when he worked here as he has on manufacturing this frivolous complaint, the company would not have fired him. When I was hired at Dentsu, I insisted on having a mandate to make all hiring and firing decisions. Toyo Shigeta had nothing to do with the decision to fire Biegel. . . . We've told him from the outset that if he felt he had a case, he should file it. It took him a year . . . Now we will file ours."

Far as I can tell, Dentsu never filed a thing.


Anonymous said...

Re: “…at least begs the question of why someone would be fired if it weren't for performance.” Um, Catharine, people are constantly fired for things besides performance in our business. Seems like the backpedaling is part of the overall retraction of all public statements. Biegel’s lawyer would probably want to emphasize the performance issue to keep his client’s reputation intact. Tim Andree’s quote is probably retracted too. Why, it’s all good. Nothing bad happened at all. No Eastern European brothels. No three-ways with Mexican hookers. No crotch shots of tennis stars. I wouldn’t be surprised if Biegel received minimal monetary compensation. But I guess we’ll never know.

Anonymous said...

The Japanese are notoriously unlitigious, I have been told.
Whereas, Roy Cohn might ask "Who is the judge?" and Johnny Cochran might query "Who is on the jury?"--the Japanese might likely ask "How much is this gonna cost us?" and pay the bounty and avoid the mishegoss.

Anonymous said...

As a former employee of Dentsu during the aforementioned regime, I have to say, Tim Andree is nothing more than a shill for the Japanese powers who own his soul. Personally, I have nothing substantial against him as a person, it's just as a businessman. If Andree would just admit who and what he really is to the people under him in pecking order, perhaps he would not have the behind-the-back eye roll he often receives. Just call it the way it is - the company is run in a true Japanese tradition, and Andree is just a front to bring in American clients...which has not proved to be a recipe for success. Their #1 client, Canon, is Japanese-based. As a person in the creative trenches at Dentsu for several years, I can't really see the benefit for American products and companies using their advertising services when their are so many better qualified agencies who could service a clients needs. In conclusion, Dentsu is a sham. They pretend to be a super power for American clients but they really are built for Japanese clients only. You can't put horse crap on top of a cake and call it icing.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the insight, Steve and Andrew.

Anonymous said...

Steve Biegel is a hero. He stood up for what's right, and he won. Interestingly enough, Dentsu just bought what appears to be a fascist PR firm, Mitchell Communications. It's apparently based in wonderful, Fayetteville, Arkansas, home of many worldly open-minded people I'm sure. I looked at the staff online, and no surprise, it's all white, besides one token black woman,who I bet is not client facing. Still no Jews it appears.
What was Dentsu thinking? Mitchell is supposed to be focused on big US brands, which should theoretically address a diverse group of consumers, not just white Southern Baptists.
How can Mitchell understand diversity of needs among nonwhite populations when its staff is all White Christian moms that probably haven't left Arkansas?
I see one token black woman, but I would bet she's not client facing, and not involved in any campaign strategy. so sad. I see no Jews on their staff. I guess no Jews would work for a firm like that.