WPP has settled a lawsuit lodged by the former chief communications officer of its J. Walter Thompson unit that alleged sexual misconduct by the former agency head, Gustavo Martinez.
Erin Johnson, who received an undisclosed amount in the settlement, hopes that her experience will encourage others to speak out.
In a statement, she expressed gratitude for the “love and encouragement from family, friends and those of you in the industry who spoke up and offered support.”
Filed in US federal court, the 2016 suit named Martinez, JWT and WPP as defendants. It charged Martinez with “an unending stream of racist and sexist comments as well as unwanted touching and other unlawful conduct.”
The Wall Street Journal credited Johnson’s suit with helping to “reignite debate over workplace behavior in the industry.”
Gustavo, who left his JWT post following the filing of the suit, works on assignments for WPP in Spain.