C&W v. Titan: the next battle of Atlanta

ATLANTA: The dispute over the breakaway group from Cohn & Wolfe Atlanta moved up a gear last week with the decision of one of the agency's top clients, Chick-Fil-A, to move its business.

ATLANTA: The dispute over the breakaway group from Cohn & Wolfe Atlanta moved up a gear last week with the decision of one of the agency's top clients, Chick-Fil-A, to move its business.

ATLANTA: The dispute over the breakaway group from Cohn & Wolfe Atlanta moved up a gear last week with the decision of one of the agency's top clients, Chick-Fil-A, to move its business.

C&W Worldwide CEO Steve Aiello and parent company Young & Rubicam filed suits in Georgia and Delaware courts against the Titan Network and its founders, including Tony DeMartino, former general manager and CEO of the agency's Atlanta office.

Aiello's action seeks 'unspecified compensatory and punitive damages' and 'to halt a pattern of unfair competition, misappropriation of trade secrets and other confidential information, and tortuous interference with C&W's client relations and employment contracts.' The Y&R complaint solely names DeMartino and alleges he breached 'agreements not to work for C&W clients in which he was involved and not to solicit or hire C&W employees.'

DeMartino responded by filing a petition in Georgia court asking for a declarative statement that non-compete and non-solicitation agreements are illegal in Georgia because it is a 'right-to-work' state.

Meanwhile, C&W is facing up to the loss of client Chick-Fil-A, which last week appointed 360, the agency started by Cohn & Wolfe founder Bob Cohn.

DeMartino and his partners were delivered termination letters in late December, after Aiello discovered they were using C&W time and resources to plan a new agency. Seven C&W staffers subsequently followed the trio into the new Titan Network.

- See Editorial, page 8 and Analysis, page 9.





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