The former chief creative officer at Crispin Porter & Bogusky plans to subpoena Instagram in a defamation suit filed against the anonymous Diet Madison Avenue (DMA) account, which has since shut down.
Ralph Watson has begun a civil case for defamation after being publicly named as an alleged abuser of women. He is demanding $10m in compensation, in addition to other costs and damages.
The lawsuit suggests the DMA account is run by at least 17 individuals "with assistance from at least another 42 individuals." Watson intends to subpoena Instagram to reveal the identities of the 'Jane Does' currently listed in the suit.
Born out of the #MeToo movement the DMA account was unsparing in naming some of the most well-known figures in advertising as part of a crusade to out alleged ‘predators’ who abused young women.
The account amassed over 10k followers but was shut down in March. It had run a series of posts linking multiple ad industry executives, including The Martin Agency’s Joe Alexander, as well as executives from Droga5, Wieden + Kennedy in London, and Publicis Seattle, to accusations of misconduct.
Watson was fired by CP+B, prompting him to hit back claiming that the false claim led to his wrongful termination by the agency. Watson has charged DMA of ‘intentionally interfering’ in his contractual, economic and prospective economic relations.
In a statement Watson wrote: “Yes, I've had a one-sided trial by social media, but now I'm looking for actual justice in a real trial by bringing DMA into a public forum and requiring them to state their claims, and more importantly, their supporting evidence. I'm here to tell you they won't be able to do that. It's one thing to make reckless and anonymous accusations. It's quite another to back them up with evidence in a court of law."