Agency.com Sues iCrossing for Stealing Its Talent

Lawsuit Claims Excessive Poaching Hurt Digital Agency in Chicago, Dallas

By Published on .

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Omnicom Group digital shop Agency.com is suing rival firm iCrossing, its CEO, Donald Scales, and a number of top executives for allegedly carrying out an illegal scheme to strip Agency.com of its best employees and key clients like Hilton and 3M.
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Agency.com suit
The suit, filed in a Dallas court, asks for $19.5 million in damages for what Agency.com calls a systematic poaching of top management who defected to iCrossing.

Agency.com blames iCrossing and Mr. Scales -- who served as Agency.com president-CEO until he agreed to leave the shop in 2006 -- for the shuttering of the Omnicom agency's Dallas office and decimation of its Chicago outpost.

"Agency.com has lost customers and profits -- customers who were solicited by Agency.com employees on behalf of iCrossing while they were still on Agency.com's payroll and/or were under customer non-solicitation provisions," the lawsuit says. The clients mentioned include Hilton, Marriott, 3M and Cargill.

Among the charges outlined: At a dinner, Mr. Scales allegedly said he "would just love to 'back up the bus' at Agency.com's doors and load Agency.com's team on the bus and take them over to iCrossing."

And, in one instance, a former Agency.com employee who jumped ship for iCrossing downloaded images from stock-photo giant Getty Images on Agency's dime for a Hilton project he was working on for I-Crossing, the lawsuit claims.

A spokesman for iCrossing.com told the Wall Street Journal that the company "doesn't comment on pending litigation." See the lawsuit here:
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