Q. How do men in suits fight?
A. With lawyers in a court of law.
In the legal skirmishes that continue between the National Rifle Association and its former ad agency, Ackerman McQueen, there is much tit for tat. It seems to me that their differences might be settled the old way—in a duel. But, I digress.
According to The Dallas Morning News, the N.R.A. says it felt misled by the ad agency. And get this…the client’s most recent complaint before a judge is that the agency continues to showcase N.R.A. work on its website. The N.R.A. believes that misleads people. The gun lobby wants all association with their former brand advisors removed from the agency website.
“The N.R.A. believed AMc was a valued partner to the N.R.A. and, by extension, the millions of law-abiding gun owners who depend upon the N.R.A. for its Second Amendment advocacy,” the lawsuit says.
Instead, the organization alleged, it found that “AMc betrayed the trust placed in the agency on numerous levels. Not only did AMc abuse the N.R.A. by regularly overcharging and falsifying invoices, it is now known that defendants (along with others) conspired to mislead the N.R.A. leadership regarding the performance of its signature service — NRATV.”
The Aggrieved Parties Were Once Close
Last June, when this sloppy break up went public, the Oklahoma City-based agency issued this statement:
When given the opportunity to do the right thing, the N.R.A. once again has taken action that we believe is intended to harm our company even at the expense of the N.R.A. itself. We will continue to fight against the N.R.A.’s repeated violations of its agreement with our company with every legal remedy available to us.
This story has many layers of intrigue and quite a few head-spinning facts. One of the oddest facts is how the agency attempted to help buy a 10,000 square foot mansion for NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre.
The agency’s CFO received a $70,000 check from LaPierre for this purpose, and the payment was eventually flagged in the financial audit that has ensnared many of the gun lobby’s top executives.
According to Ackerman, the deal for the Texas mansion originated with LaPierre. “The truth is that Mr. LaPierre decided to proactively propose his plan to leave his current residence. Acting outside the parties’ Services Agreement, Mr. LaPierre sought the involvement of Ackerman McQueen.”
Ackerman McQueen believes in content and they advanced the content marketing ball considerably for the gun lobby. Sadly, the content is propaganda. Happily, NRATV is no more (although, the videos are all still available on YouTube).
According to The Times, N.R.A. officials grew leery of the cost of creating so much live content for NRATV, which was started in 2016, and wondered whether the return on its investment was worth the effort.
The site’s web traffic was minuscule, with 49,000 unique visitors in January, according to a report provided by Comscore.
By ending production at NRATV, the N.R.A. is also ceasing its relationship with a number of high-profile representatives of the organization, since its on-air personalities — Ackerman employees including Dana Loesch — will no longer be the public faces of the N.R.A.
PREVIOUSLY ON ADPULP.COM: The NRA’s Ad Agency Is A Formidable Opponent of Freedom