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The Drum

Erin Johnson returns to J. Walter Thompson amid litigation

Erin Johnson returns to J. Walter Thompson amid litigation

On Wednesday, Erin Johnson will return to J. Walter Thompson in Manhattan, eight months after the chief communications officer filed a lawsuit against her former boss, Gustavo Martinez.

Global chairman and CEO Tamara Ingram made the announcement via an internal all-staff email, according to AdWeek.

The email read:


I want to you know that Erin Johnson has decided to return to J. Walter Thompson from her leave of absence.

She is rejoining us tomorrow, Wednesday, November 2nd, and will report directly to me. She will sit on the 4th floor, in our New York office.

Please join me in welcoming her back.


Johnson filed the lawsuit on March 10, in which she claimed that Martinez subjected her to racist and sexist behavior. The lawsuit, which was filed in federal court in Manhattan, accused Martinez of making it "impossible for [Johnson] to do her job" because of his "apparent comfort in making racist and sexist slurs, even on tape."

The lawsuit first emerged in the New York Post and claimed that Martinez asked Johnson, in front of a group of co-workers, to “come here, so I can rape you in the bathroom” before grabbing her neck and laughing.

“I am aware of the allegations made against me by a J. Walter Thompson employee in a suit filed in New York Federal Court. I want to assure our clients and my colleagues that there is absolutely no truth to these outlandish allegations and I am confident that this will be proven in court," Martinez said in a previous statement.