StrawberryFrog‘s Canadian-born founder and CEO is the target of a $2 million lawsuit filed by a former employee last week. According to AdWeek, recently departed CSO Ilana Bryant is taking the agency to court for $75,000 in severance, $700,000 in outstanding commissions, $250,000 for her 5 percent equity in the firm, and $1 million in punitive damages.
In the suit, Bryant, a 17-year ad vet, describes Goodson as an “incompetent and emotionally unstable boss” who acted “erratic and dictatorial,” and says she helped boost the company’s annual revenues from $3 million to $20M but was paid significantly less than other partners.
Goodson, who also writes a column at Forbes, sent a memo to agency staff today about the situation, calling it “false and baseless.” It’s a story worth watching, as the CEO is a frequent and high-profile speaker on the advertising conference circuit. Critics have long accused Goodson of spending more time hyping his own agency than on creating compelling client work, but StrawberryFrog does boast clients such as Pampers, New Balance, Jim Beam, Scion and Smart car.
StrawberryFrog was founded in 1999 and has offices in Amsterdam, New York, Sao Paolo and Dubai, with Mumbai coming soon.