IQ News: Dispute Clouds Over Red Sky

In an industry in which anyone can duplicate a campaign or software code with the press of a button or two, it’s surprising there aren’t more legal battles over copyrights and contracts. Red Sky Interactive, one of Omnicom’s six Communicade shops, has initiated such a dispute, which will be mediated by a third party in San Francisco this week. Sources said Red Sky is accusing former staffers of violating a non-compete agreement signed last fall after the investment by Omnicom.

The disagreement centers on the launch of Skyrocket, a new media company created by Red Sky Films founders Doug Humphreys and April Minnich. Minnich was also marketing director at Red Sky Interactive until February.

Humphreys denied a non-compete agreement existed. ‘We’re enjoined from doing digital work under Red Sky Films, and they’re enjoined from doing film work under Red Sky Interactive,’ he said.

‘It’s clear Red Sky Films has started an entity that will work in the digital interactive realm,’ countered Tim Smith, president of Red Sky Interactive. ‘We’re worried about confusion in the marketplace.’

Humphreys said Skyrocket was launched because Red Sky Interactive ‘began to veer in a direction we wanted to move away from,’ to an ‘agency model.’ Skyrocket instead will focus on technology development and ‘new ways of creating corporate messages on the Internet.’ Skyrocket has completed one project, for the U.S. Conference of Mayors. –LR

IQ movers

Kevin Gillespie from Parker Brothers to Hasbro Interactive, Beverly, Mass., as associate vp, product development. . . . Robert Levine and Doug Gottlieb as associate editors, Rolling Stone Online, New York. Gottlieb from ABC/Disney multimedia group; Levine from senior editor at HotWired. . . . Gene Quinn to MTV Networks, New York, as senior vp, online and interactive services, from general manager, Tribune Interactive Network Services, Chicago. . . . At Juno Online Services, former Los Angeles Times sales manager William Bell and former Red Flash Internet publisher Stephen Crane as Juno’s first account managers in Detroit and Chicago. . . . Barbara Steel to Pepsi-Cola, Purchase, N.Y., as director, new media development, from Andersen Consulting. . . .

Don Albert, from sales and marketing director, America Online’s Digital Cities, to PointCast, Cupertino, Calif., as vp, affiliate development.

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