IPG chief Michael Roth details firm’s ‘zero-tolerance policy’ for sexual harassment in memo

Michael Roth, IPG chief executive

IPG chief executive and chairman Michael Roth has sent a memo to the holding company’s more than 50,000 employees that outlines the firm's “zero-tolerance policy” for sexual harassment.

The memo comes in light of sexual harassment allegations made against prominent figures including Harvey Weinstein, journalist Mark Halperin and actor Kevin Spacey, among others. Former ad executive and diversity advocate Cindy Gallop is calling on women who work in advertising to email her their stories of sexual harassment "to end the Harvey Weinsteins of our industry once and for all.”

In Roth’s memo, he states that IPG “has a zero-tolerance policy for all types of harassment and in fact, it’s part of our Code of Conduct and our standard policies and procedures.” To ensure that all employees are up to speed on its policies regarding the matter, he said that IPG will soon be launching a mandatory online anti-harassment course in the US.

He’s also encouraging employees who’ve been the subject of sexual harassment to speak up “without fear of reprisal” since the company has “a zero-tolerance policy against retaliation, and will take steps to protect you.”

Read the memo in full below.

Memo from Michael Roth: A Workplace Free from Harassment

We have all been reading about the prevalence of sexual harassment in the workplace, including in the ad industry. It is therefore an important time to re-emphasize that one of our core values at IPG is to ensure that all employees can enjoy workplaces that are respectful and supportive. This is about more than violations of local laws – we strive to support a higher standard of inclusion.

Know that IPG has a zero-tolerance policy for all types of harassment and in fact, it’s part of our Code of Conduct and our standard policies and procedures as detailed in SP&P 400.

Sexual harassment isn't limited to its most obvious forms – such as making inappropriate advances. It also includes any unwelcome verbal or physical behavior that creates a hostile work environment. You should not be subject to any such behavior by anyone that you come into contact with as part of your job – colleagues, managers, suppliers or clients. And the prohibitions are not limited to the office – they apply to off-site events and social gatherings – anywhere that you are with your colleagues or business partners.

To help ensure that our employees are familiar with our policies surrounding harassment, we will soon be launching a mandatory online anti-harassment course in the U.S.

If you have been the subject of sexual harassment or if you see behavior that runs counter to an inclusive, respectful workplace, report it to a member of management, human resources, or the legal department. You can do so without fear of reprisal as we also have a zero-tolerance policy against retaliation, and will take steps to protect you. You may also anonymously contact the IPG AlertLine at 1-800-828-0896 if you are located in the U.S. If you wish to make a call to the AlertLine from a location outside the U.S., visit http://inside.interpublic.com, and click on the box for the AlertLine on the homepage. We will investigate any complaint as thoroughly and confidentially as possible, and any violations of our policy will be dealt with appropriately.

Ultimately, we all perform best and serve our clients most effectively when we operate in an environment free from harassment and where behavior to the contrary will not be tolerated. We appreciate your cooperation in helping to ensure that IPG is always such a place.

Michael Roth

Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, IPG

Search The Drum Jobs

Explore the best jobs in Marketing and Media industries
View all open jobs

Minda Smiley

Minda Smiley is a reporter at The Drum covering creativity and advertising. Based in Philadelphia, she primarily covers independent agencies and B2B marketing. She also oversees The Drum’s “Independent Influence,” a weekly series that spotlights the work, perspectives and inspirations behind independent agencies. During her time at The Drum, she has covered industry events including SXSW, ANA Masters of Marketing, 4A’s Transformation and C2 Montréal. She is a graduate of the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism.

All by Minda