Dobbie Drops Lawsuit Against Ogilvy

LOS ANGELES A former employee of WPP Group’s Ogilvy & Mather recently dropped a lawsuit she filed against the agency in May 2003, alleging unfair business practices and sexual harassment.

In a statement released last month, an agency representative said that “following the court’s dismissal of the case against Rick Roth and a key charge against the company, the plaintiff has withdrawn the case.”

Former Ogilvy executive administrator Yvette Dobbie initially filed charges on May 5, 2003, in Los Angeles’ State Superior Court. The suit was subsequently moved to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Los Angeles. In it, Dobbie claimed she was compelled to resign from the agency’s Culver City, Calif., office in May 2002 after an “internal whistle-blowing” incident involving manipulated billing figures and inappropriate sexual behavior. Specifically charged in the suit was worldwide client services director Rick Roth. At the time, he also served as president of Ogilvy’s West Coast operations.

Assisted by Irvine, Calif.-based attorney Steven D’Braunstein prior to dropping the case, Dobbie had sought general damages in excess of $500,000, as well as unspecified economic and punitive damages and attorney fees. Ogilvy & Mather has from the suit’s inception called it “entirely without merit.”

According to its statement, the agency had nothing further to add. Dobbie was not available for comment, and D’Braunstein did not immediately return calls.