Marketer Leaves Unilever Amid Sexual Harassment Probe

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Mark Clarke, who separated from Unilever during a harassment investigation this week, pictured here on the campaign trail during the 2010 London elections as a Tory operative.
Mark Clarke, who separated from Unilever during a harassment investigation this week, pictured here on the campaign trail during the 2010 London elections as a Tory operative. Credit: Justin Tallis/eyevine/Redux

A scandal-plagued former Tory politician banned for life in 2015 by his party has left his Unilever marketing job amid an internal investigation into sexual-harassment allegations by an unnamed contractor.

The original political scandal that engulfed Mark Clarke included allegations of sexual assault and harassment, bullying a young Conservative Party member who committed suicide and blackmailing fellow party members. Unilever officially declined to acknowledge his continued employment as senior director of marketing analytics in 2016, but he remained with the company until now. He worked on social-media analytics.

None of the allegations that fueled Clarke's political scandal involved his Unilever work, but he now becomes the latest marketing-industry executive brought down in the global #MeToo wave of sexual-harassment allegations.

"We take any alleged breach of Unilever's code of business principles very seriously," a company spokeswoman said in an email statement. "We can confirm that we were investigating allegations made about Mr. Clarke. He denied the allegations and decided to leave the business before our investigation was concluded."

Clarke didn't immediately respond to a request for comment via LinkedIn.

Unilever has been heavily involved in marketing gender-equity issues for years, including its 14-year-old Dove Campaign for Real Beauty, and playing a leading role in the Association of National Advertisers #SeeHer effort to improve portrayal of women in media and commercials in the U.S. and the Unstereotype Alliance with the United Nations, other marketers and agencies.

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