SOFTAD GROUP NAMED IN HARASSMENT SUIT; WPP JOINS INTERACTIVE MEDIA STUDY; GET READY FOR AN INTERACTIVE SHOW-DOWN; OTHER NEWS:

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Two former employees of interactive advertising agency SoftAd Group, Mill Valley, Calif., have filed sexual harassment charges against the agency; its CEO and founder, Paula George Tompkins; and Doug Crane, chairman of the board of advisors. The lawsuit, filed last month in Marin County Superior Court in San Rafael, Calif., on behalf of former employees Beverly Lambert and Pauline Kay, also includes allegations of defamation, fraud and deceit, wrongful termination, intentional infliction of emotional distress and breach of contract. Ms. Tompkins declined to comment on the suit but said lawsuits filed by "disgruntled former employees" are not an uncommon occurrence. Both Ms. Lambert, former VP-production, and Ms. Kay, former collateral manager, were dismissed last spring.

WPP Group is the newest sponsor and only marketing communications company to sign on with the $1 million Electronic Access project, an ambitious and wide-ranging new-media study organized by Coopers & Lybrand and others. The study now has 14 sponsors, including the U.S. Postal Service, U S West and Prudential Securities. WPP said its participation is the first action taken by its newly formed "multinational multimedia task force."

wo big interactive media trade shows will go head to head next year. In an apparent bid to upstage CES Interactive in Philadelphia, International Data Group's Infotainment World last week announced Electronic Entertainment Expo, running in Los Angeles on exactly the same dates, May 11-13,1995. Nintendo of America has already agreed to participate in CES; IDG says Sega of America, Electronic Arts and Viacom are backing its show.

Watch for more Cable News Network programs to find their way to CompuServe. The cable TV network last week said it would establish a forum on CompuServe for its new "TalkBack Live" show premiering Aug. 22. Several other CNN programs will add CompuServe links soon, the online service said. ... Prodigy, White Plains, N.Y., officially became the first member of Audit Bureau of Circulations' Electronic Publications division in the second quarter. Among consumer magazines, Wired was one of 26 new ABC members. ... TV Guide critic Jeff Jarvis adds duties as editor in chief of sister News Corp. property Delphi Internet Services. ... Acclaim Entertainment will join Sega of America in offering on-demand videogame rentals at Blockbuster stores this summer.

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