Dentsu/Biegel Mud Wrestling Match Continues

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And so for Steve Biegel it seems suing Dentsu for forced participation in hot tub action isn't enough. He's now adding religious discrimination to his list of apparent transgressions foisted upon him by the ostensible monsters who run Dentsu. Biegel claims he and other Jewish Dentsu employees were discriminated against based on their religion.

In a statement regarding alleged treatment of Dentsu America President Doug Fidoten, Biegel said, "Defendants have openly discussed firing Mr. Fidoten, as well as removing his responsibilities. Mr. Fidoten is quite literally a token Jew, presented as a fig leaf to hide the simple fact that Mr. Andree and his fellow gentile managers have in one year eliminated every Jew in the creative department at Dentsu."

Furthering his complaint, Biegel adds, "Even though he remains technically employed as Dentsu's president, in reality, he has been stripped of his powers. Mr. Fidoten himself has become aware of his precarious position, and has been talking to others in the industry about the possibility that he may lose his job,"

Of course, Dentsu is denying all of this claiming Biegel was a difficult employee, acted "vulgar and rude" toward fellow employees and almost caused Canon to terminate a campaign Biegel headed because it was unhappy with the work he did. Oops.

UPDATE: A comment from Mr. Biegel's legal attorney, Andy Dwyer:

"I am the attorney representing Mr. Biegel in his suit. This posting on your blog by Mr. Hall is another example of the media's persistent failure to accurately report this case. It is also a sad example of why so much on the blogosphere is unreliable. We did not "add" anything to our case. We have alleged for a year that Mr. Biegel was fired (a) because he is Jewish and (b) because he was being retaliated against for his complaints. This was in the original draft complaint sent to Dentsu a year ago. There is nothing new. This was in our originally filed complaint, filed with the federal court on 10/31/07. In response to our complaint, Dentsu filed a motion to dismiss. We have responded to the motion, explaining why the motion should be denied (as is our right). One of the claims they have sought to dismiss is the claim that Mr. Biegel was discriminated against because he is Jewish. In responding to this argument, we explained why the claim that Mr. Biegel was discriminated against is valid. It is not a new argument. And it does not displace or replace our other claims -- it is three pages out of a 25 page brief. I repeat, this is not a new claim; it has been there all along.

I find incredible that Mr. Hall feels qualified to post on this case when (a) he has obviously never read any of the filings in the case, even though they are all publicly available on the internet, and (b) he has never bothered to speak to anyone involved on the side of the plaintiff, even though they can all easily be reached. Mr. Hall erroneously relied on an article in another publication, and then bought their spin hook, line and sinker. Had Mr. Hall made even a minimal effort to research this issue before he posted, he would have realized that his statements were in error. But Mr. Hall spent more time looking for a cute graphic for his post than he did bothering to make sure that what he was saying was the truth.

Is there anyone in your industry who is willing to take the time to read the court file in this case before they publicly express an opinion? Or is that too much to ask? If folks in the blogosphere ever want their writings to rise above the level of graffiti, they are going to have to work a little harder at getting their facts straight before they post."

Apparently, Mr. Hall is an idiot. We agree and apologize to Mr Biegel and his attorneys for reporting this mis-information.

by Steve Hall    Dec-11-07   Click to Comment   
Topic: Agencies, Policy   

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Comments



Comments

I am the attorney representing Mr. Biegel in his suit. This posting on your blog by Mr. Hall is another example of the media's persistent failure to accurately report this case. It is also a sad example of why so much on the blogosphere is unreliable. We did not "add" anything to our case. We have alleged for a year that Mr. Biegel was fired (a) because he is Jewish and (b) because he was being retaliated against for his complaints. This was in the original draft complaint sent to Dentsu a year ago. There is nothing new. This was in our originally filed complaint, filed with the federal court on 10/31/07. In response to our complaint, Dentsu filed a motion to dismiss. We have responded to the motion, explaining why the motion should be denied (as is our right). One of the claims they have sought to dismiss is the claim that Mr. Biegel was discriminated against because he is Jewish. In responding to this argument, we explained why the claim that Mr. Biegel was discriminated against is valid. It is not a new argument. And it does not displace or replace our other claims -- it is three pages out of a 25 page brief. I repeat, this is not a new claim; it has been there all along.

I find incredible that Mr. Hall feels qualified to post on this case when (a) he has obviously never read any of the filings in the case, even though they are all publicly available on the internet, and (b) he has never bothered to speak to anyone involved on the side of the plaintiff, even though they can all easily be reached. Mr. Hall erroenously relied on an article in another publication, and then bought their spin hook, line and sinker. Had Mr. Hall made even a minimal effort to research this issue before he posted, he would have realized that his statements were in error. But Mr. Hall spent more time looking for a cute graphic for his post than he did bothering to make sure that what he was saying was the truth.

Is there anyone in your industry who is willing to take the time to read the court file in this case before they publicly express an opinion? Or is that too much to ask? If folks in the blogosphere ever want their writings to rise above the level of graffiti, they are going to have to work a little harder at getting their facts straight before they post.

Posted by: Andrew Dwyer on December 11, 2007 12:43 PM

I dunno Steve.

I read them. It did seem that faith-based discrimination is more pointed in the revision. So you might not be a full idiot. j/k

Best,
Rich


Posted by: Richard Becker on December 11, 2007 4:49 PM

I think when all the facts are in, it will become clear that Dentsu parted ways with Biegel because he refused to work on property brochures any more.

Posted by: Paul Z on December 11, 2007 10:58 PM

Not to worry, Andrew. If the sex and religion angles don't pay dividends, I hear there was some asbestos in the construction at 666 5th Avenue. Might be time for Steve to develop a persistent cough. You know, as "back-up."

Posted by: Roland Anderson on December 11, 2007 11:07 PM

Note to Dwyer:

Seems like you and your client were eager to publicize the details in the beginning. Now you want to whine because everyone isn’t privy to your press releases or fact-checking your legal documents? Welcome to Journalism 2.0, dude. Next time, keep your mouth—and mouse—shut.

Posted by: Toyo Shigeta on December 11, 2007 11:52 PM


Andree will fry. He goes from bad to worse every day.

Mabye there is another career path out there... do carnival barkers still find steady work? The circus is a great place for him....

Posted by: Not Biegel's Lawyer on December 12, 2007 12:01 AM

I agree with Toyo. It’s never a good idea to try to publicly humiliate your opponents in these legal battles. If you fight your battles in the court of public opinion, be ready to watch things spin out of your spin control. You’re not as notorious as O.J. Simpson or Paris Hilton, Mr. Biegel. If you’ve got a case, a judge will acknowledge it. Right now, you look desperate as hell. And Dentsu does not look guilty.

Posted by: Denny Crane on December 12, 2007 1:55 AM

Denny Crane! The man has spoken:-)

Posted by: Steve Hall on December 12, 2007 9:45 AM

Steve,
I think you were dead-on.
When something smells as much like a rat as this does, you're right to report it or take notice.

I'll bet if you go back and look through Dwyer's old cases you'll find some more bottom of the barrel scum bucket stuff.
Bottom feeders generally keep to the same diet plan.

Cheers

Posted by: Ted Danson on December 12, 2007 8:41 PM

I feel for the guy, and in no way am I defending Dentsu, but really, how many incidents of visiting brothels before you say enough is enough? This with a boss who you already know is like that from before. And this went on how long, over two years? He should've quit sooner and gotten a gig somewhere else.

And Mr. Dwyer, don't look down on blogs so much, after all, they're the new TV camera.

Posted by: Unreliable blogger #548 on December 12, 2007 11:49 PM

You gotta admit, whatever side you're on... by accident or through a very smart legal strategy.. Dwyer has hit them right between the eyes.

Dwyer/Biegel got a lot of people who glance at the trades and see "account shift, blah blah blah" and throw it aside to actually READ ADWEEK at least for sex stuff and to see what a sick b**tard Toyo is.

But the best part is round two -- what Jewish juror (or for that matter Jewish member of the NY trade press) wouldn't give Biegel some kind of break?

Canon looks the most pathetic of everyone. Their agency abused their talent and publicly humiliated them. Andree must be paying somebody over there.

Posted by: Not Biegel's Lawyer on December 13, 2007 4:33 AM

Not Biegel’s Lawyer,

Are you sure you’re not Biegel’s lawyer? Or at least his publicist? Maybe even Biegel himself?

Yeah, you guys got people to look at the trades—and wonder what the hell Biegel and his lawyer are thinking. Maybe they were asleep during the Julie Roehm-Wal-Mart showdown. Otherwise, they’d realize that legal cases are fought in courtrooms, not the press. And definitely not on blogs.

Trashing everything from Dentsu to Canon looks mighty desperate. Doing it online looks pathetic. Just saying.

Posted by: Denny Crane on December 13, 2007 12:12 PM

Denny Crane:

I appreciate the response. And I'll back up my Dentsu trashing:

1) They abused their client's talent and caused that client great embarassment (fact)
2) Their big accounts are from three agencies that they purchased and "re-branded" Dentsu America -- namely Oasis Advertising, Colby & Partners and now Attik.
3) Tim Andree is a glorified publicist who doesn't know jack shit about advertising and had never worked a single day at an agency before starting at Dentsu. (look it up) And he's the CEO?
4) Toyo, Wilson, Andree are a bunch of giant assholes. Have you met them? If you have, you'd know what I am saying. And I am clearly not the only one saying it.

I read your earlier statement. Dentsu doesn't look guilty? Are you kidding? There is a crotch shot of one of their client's talent on the web that was taken by the CEO. And if all the shit in the suit is made up.... then Biegel has a much larger career in writing fiction that he should pursue.

If I was their client they would already be replaced. Is this the image you'd want for your company??!!

Sorry Mr. Crane, you are off on this one.

Posted by: Not Biegel's Lawyer on December 14, 2007 1:26 AM

Not Biegel’s Lawyer,

If you’re not Biegel’s lawyer, you should be. Regardless, you have no case. That’s the real issue here. It’s not illegal for management to be comprised of assholes. Otherwise, the entire industry would be facing litigation. Discrimination is a terrible thing. But everything you’ve presented to date is “he said, he said.” Biegel was suffering with a six-figure salary? You’ll need more hard evidence to convince anyone of an anti-Jewish conspiracy. And Shigeta’s probable erection over Sharapova’s crotch shot does not constitute hard evidence. What’s next, going after Dentsu Inc. for having too many Japanese employees? Time to move on, friend.

Posted by: Denny Crane on December 14, 2007 1:07 PM

Denny Crane:

I've never met Biegel or his lawyer and while I don't agree with the actions they've taken.... I see larger fault with Dentsu. And I know, because I worked there and I saw those guys in action, and they are filth.

You can't just decide to fire people because they don't share your pervy tendencies. Or because you just don't happen to like their religion.

If Biegel can prove those were contributors to his demise, Dentsu is in trouble.

Posted by: Not Biegel's Lawyer on December 14, 2007 6:25 PM

NBL,

OK, but here’s my legal prediction. The EEOC has probably already informed Biegel and his lawyer that the charges are not solid enough. Biegel and his lawyer will proceed until a judge declares it’s not worth trying or Biegel blinks due to the drain on his personal cash supply. So Biegel and Dwyer release a statement saying they’ve decided to move on with their lives, and Dentsu drops any potential countersuits while declaring satisfaction that Biegel has ended the baseless case. The advertising community will have forgotten all about this many months before Biegel concedes. As Biegel opted to pursue a lawsuit, and obviously did not sign his separation agreement, Dentsu won’t even have to pay a dime of the original severance package. Dentsu will have legal bills from the case that they’ll absorb. Biegel will have spent up to $50,000 (maybe more) with nothing to show for it, which will probably make him wish he had the cash to hire a Prague prostitute.

Posted by: Denny Crane on December 14, 2007 9:24 PM







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