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  1. #1

    Default Ackerman McQueen

    NRA is suing them, claiming the ad agency is refusing to turn over detail on how they have been spending money in relation to their long-standing contract.

    AM billed them $42M (!!) in 2017 alone.

    Regardless of how this is resolved, this could signal an end to a relationship that has lasted almost 4 decades. It would also mean they would have to drastically reduce their 125 employees based in OKC (another 65 or so are split between Colorado Springs and Washington D.C.

    NRA has been running a deficit and is getting tighter about money. It may also be a way for them to get out of this contract with AM and spend less elsewhere.



    NRA Sues Ackerman McQueen, Mercury Group
    Mon., Apr. 15, 2019
    By Kevin McCauley
    Charlton Heston
    Charlton Heston
    The National Rifle Association has sued long-time ad agency Ackerman McQueen and its Mercury Group PR unit for allegedly failing to turn over its business records to justify its billings.

    The organization paid Ackerman McQueen more than $42M in 2017.

    According to the suit filed in Virginia Circuit Court, the NRA “requested access to material, readily available records that Ackerman and Mercury are contractually obligated to provide,” but the defendants refused to provide them.

    The gun group claims it negotiated with AM for access to the records for the better part of a year and its patience has now run out.

    It wants business records including “budgets purportedly approved by the NRA, copies of material contracts for which the NRA is purportedly liable, and readily available performance data—all to inform the judgement of its fiduciaries.”

    The NRA claims its contract with AM entitles it upon “reasonable notice” to examine any and all “files, books and records” of both Ackerman and Mercury which pertain to matters covered by the parties’ contract.

    AM dismissed the suit as “frivolous, inaccurate and intended to cause harm to the reputation of our company.”

    The Oklahoma City-based shop said in a statement: “We will defend our position and performance aggressively and look forward to continuing to serve the NRA’s membership.”

    The NRA and AM has worked together for decades and created the high-impact “from my cold, dead hands” messaging of the late actor and five-time NRA president Charlton Heston.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Default Re: Ackmerman McQueen

    Saw on social media they are moving to the Monarch

  3. #3

    Default Re: Ackmerman McQueen

    The 76-member NRA board has split into two factions: A smaller pro-AMc group led by Oliver North, and a larger anti-AMc group that is suing them. The lead attorney representing NRA is William A. Brewer III, who is related to AMc’s two top officials who are his brother-in-law and father-in-law. The suit was filed in Alexandria circuit court.

  4. #4

  5. #5

    Default Re: Ackmerman McQueen

    Good article. Reading it made me late for work this morning. I would quibble with the dismissive mention of the Chickasaw Nation, as I believe they are much larger than the NRA.

    But I will say this-Ackerman-McQueen has made the NRA what it is today. If the NRA is the 800lb gorilla in the room now, they would be a 10lb spider monkey without the work of A-M. It would still be 15 old white men in a hangar at Wiley Post meeting once a month, instead of NRA TV and all their other massive efforts across the USA. A-M makes a huge amount of money from the NRA, but the NRA has made much more over the years as a benefit of their partnership. The iconic image of Charlton Heston and "From my cold, dead hands!" is an eternal link to the NRA that was driven by A-M. The NRA was all too willing to bask in the glory of the good times. Complaining about A-M now is disingenuous, IMO.

    One other thing: I personally don't like the NRA and what they do and stand for.
    Last edited by Dob Hooligan; 04-19-2019 at 05:01 PM. Reason: Additional info

  6. #6

    Default Re: Ackmerman McQueen

    The typo in the thread title amuses me.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Ackmerman McQueen

    Quote Originally Posted by catch22 View Post
    The typo in the thread title amuses me.
    lol... fixed it.


  8. #8

    Default Re: Ackmerman McQueen

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin View Post
    lol... fixed it.

    I respect your position but disagree on your action

  9. #9

    Default Re: Ackmerman McQueen

    North out of leadership grab at the NRA.

    https://apnews.com/d5d90ab1596f478c8f20d4dbe3f73979

  10. #10

    Default Re: Ackerman McQueen

    Interesting times at the NRA...

  11. #11

    Default Re: Ackerman McQueen

    Considering Ackerman McQueen seemed to pull a power play with North in order to oust LaPierre, this can't be good for the OKC agency, especially on top of the existing lawsuit.

    My understanding is the NRA is more than half their book of business and there seems to be a very real chance that relationship is going to end soon or at least be sharply curtailed.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Ackerman McQueen

    Keep an eye on the results of tomorrow’s NRA board meeting. I would not be surprised if Wayne LaPierre is ousted then, as well.

    Ackerman McQueen is too intertwined with the NRA to be cast aside. AM is not an employee of the NRA, rather, they are a full business partner IMO. AM controls 75% (if not more) of the NRA media and messaging. They could take their NRA TV and all the public face representatives of the NRA ( who are ALL employed by AM) and start their own hard right, 2nd Amendment organization by Friday. And have a larger revenue stream than the NRA would be left with.

    This family squabble will settle quickly. Because the stakes are too high not to.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Ackerman McQueen

    The wheels came off in the past two years for several reasons: 1) Trump was elected which eliminated any threats to the 2nd Amendment; 2) NRA revenues fell precipitously; 3) Oliver North was selected as president; 4) AMc created NRATV which paid North off the books; 5) Despite continued mass shootings in the US, the NRA continues to oppose any efforts to keep guns out of the hands of those who clearly shouldn’t have them.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Ackerman McQueen

    Quote Originally Posted by CloudDeckMedia View Post
    5) Despite continued mass shootings in the US, the NRA continues to oppose any efforts to keep guns out of the hands of those who clearly shouldn’t have them.
    this is simply not true

  15. #15

    Default Re: Ackerman McQueen

    Quote Originally Posted by BoulderSooner View Post
    this is simply not true
    Then please cite the gun control measures that NRA has committed time & resources to promote, at both federal and state levels.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Ackerman McQueen

    LaPierre was just reelected by a unanimous vote of the NRA board.

    Ackerman had backed Oliver North in what seemed to be an attempted coup to depose LaPierre, but it failed miserably and North is completely out.


    This has to be very bad news for AMc.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Ackerman McQueen

    Does all of this Ackerman news put the Monarch Building in jeopardy?

  18. #18

    Default Re: Ackerman McQueen

    Quote Originally Posted by chuck5815 View Post
    Does all of this Ackerman news put the Monarch Building in jeopardy?
    The building was going up before AM decided to go there.

    However, I'm sure their move is very much in question now.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Ackerman McQueen

    Just now from the WSJ:

    NRA Ad Firm Seeks to End Contract With Gun Group
    Ackerman McQueen wants to quit nearly 40-year relationship amid the partners’ legal dispute

    Advertising firm Ackerman McQueen Inc. said it was moving to terminate its nearly 40-year relationship with the National Rifle Association, the latest salvo in the dispute between the two longtime partners that has embroiled the NRA in controversy in recent months.

    Oklahoma City-based Ackerman McQueen has been the NRA’s ad agency since the 1980s and has been credited with helping to transform the gun-rights group from a grass-roots operation to a powerful national advocacy group. But the two organizations have had a falling out in recent months involving litigation and dueling claims that each has leaked confidential information about their relationship to the media.

    The NRA in a lawsuit filed last week accused Ackerman of being behind what it called a failed coup attempt at its recent annual meeting, aimed at ousting NRA Chief Executive Wayne LaPierre. Ackerman countersued, claiming the NRA was looking for pretexts to cancel its contract and seeking as much as $100 million in damages.

    In the announcement Wednesday, Ackerman said it had formally provided a notice to terminate its contract with the NRA, claiming the agreement already had been “constructively terminated” by the NRA’s own “inexplicable actions.”

    The ad firm said it had implored all parties to stay true to the NRA’s membership, but instead was “attacked in frivolous lawsuits and defamed with made-up stories” peddled to the news media.

    The dispute traces to a drive by the NRA to shore up its internal governance practices. The gun-rights group has said it demanded that all vendors submit detailed records to back up invoices to the NRA, and the only vendor that didn’t comply was Ackerman. The NRA paid the ad firm more than $40 million in 2017, the most recent year publicly available.

    Ackerman has said it has complied with all authorized demands for records. It also sent several letters to NRA officials, saying it was unable to comply with demands for records related to certain expenses it incurred on behalf of top NRA officials without additional detail from the NRA itself.

    Among the expenses was more than $500,000 the ad firm said it allegedly incurred for clothing and travel expenses for Mr. LaPierre, which included suits from a Beverly Hills, Calif., boutique and travel to locales such as Italy and the Bahamas. The NRA has said the expenses were justified, but the letters leaked out after they played a role in an internal NRA board drama that led to the departure of then-NRA President Oliver North.

    Ackerman produces the gun-rights group’s NRATV, a venture that includes live video programming. It isn’t clear what will happen to NRATV once the ad agency no longer works for the NRA.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Ackerman McQueen

    "They didn't break up with me; I dumped them first."


    Will be very, very interesting to see what happens next for AMc.

    I'm sure all their efforts will now turn to saving the Chickasaws as their one remaining large client.


    My understanding is the NRA was at least half their billings.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Ackerman McQueen

    Lawsuit: NRA’s Unpaid Bills Could Shutter NRATV
    A new lawsuit from an ad agency alleges the gun group hasn't paid more than $1.6 million in bills.

    Betsy Woodruff,
    Julia Arciga,
    Asawin Suebsaeng
    Updated 06.20.19 3:11PM ET / Published 06.20.19 11:04AM ET

    The National Rifle Association is overdue on more than $1.6 million in unpaid bills, according to a new court filing made by its longtime advertising firm.

    On Wednesday, Ackerman McQueen, an ad agency that has for years worked with the National Rifle Association and runs the gun group’s media arm NRATV, filed a motion for a preliminary injunction against the NRA. It’s the latest move in a brutal court battle between the ad agency and the powerful pro-gun organization.

    It could also spell the death of NRATV, a pro-Trump online TV network known for its culture-war content. In the filing, the company alleges that it will have to stop paying 40 percent of its employees in one week if the NRA doesn’t pay what it owes or give the firm a $3 million letter of credit—which its contract requires if it’s overdue on its bills, according to the suit.

    The ad firm is now taking steps to furlough employees who worked on NRA projects, according to a declaration from its chief financial officer filed in court.

    “AMc requests that the Court issue an injunctive order requiring the NRA to post the $3,000,000 letter of credit mandated by the parties’ contract,” the filing reads. “The alternative is that AMc will be compelled to discontinue all services to the NRA and lose the employees who perform those services forever, incurring costs for severance the NRA is unlikely to pay without litigation.”

    “Worse, shut down of those services will give the NRA an opening to claim a breach by AMc—a situation orchestrated by the NRA,” the court document alleges.

    An NRA spokesperson said the group is “skeptical” about the filing’s allegations.

    The filing specifically cites NRATV on several pages, including a section that states, “While the NRA has made allegations in which they seek to scapegoat AMc for issues relating to NRATV and even problems related to the NRA's own self-governance, AMc has always operated at the direction of the NRA CEO.”

    ADVERTISING

    Ackerman claims over 50 percent of its employees work on “projects and services” that include “in-house media production capabilities” for the NRA. The firm also claims 25 percent are “essentially virtual employees” of the gun-rights group, and most of its Dallas office is “dedicated to support NRA projects and services.”

    “The substantial financial damage flowing from the NRA’s ongoing breaches jeopardizes AMc’s continued business existence… AMc will be compelled to terminate many employees who are used on other AMc projects as well as serving the NRA,” the motion reads.

    The suit also alleges that the NRA owes the firm more than $1.6 million, based on 11 invoices for “NRATV Programming” and “Monthly Video Support” ranging from $62,000 to $680,000. Because of that failure to pay up, the firm’s “continued existence as a company is now endangered,” the suit says.

    The firm also contradicts claims the NRA has made publicly about its former president, Oliver North. The gun group has argued in court that North and Ackerman McQueen have withheld information from them about the nature of his work for the ad firm (North and the firm agreed to produce a documentary series, per NRA filings, but have yet to fully deliver). But according to the ad firm’s new filings, the NRA “directed the amounts of payment” to North.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Ackerman McQueen

    Hate to see people lose their jobs but I'm more than happy to see the NRA media machine imploding.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Ackerman McQueen

    ^ +1

  24. #24

    Default Re: Ackerman McQueen

    it does sound like the dallas office will be much more effect than the okc office

  25. #25

    Default Re: Ackerman McQueen

    Quote Originally Posted by BoulderSooner View Post
    it does sound like the dallas office will be much more effect than the okc office
    Dallas has a small amount of employees and the article says 50% of their total employees are directly involved with the NRA account.

    The OKC office will be profoundly affected.

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