The supreme court has asked former Campaign Palace creative supremo Paul Fishlock and Y&R Brands to settle their differences over his departure from the now defunct advertising agency.
The highly respected copywriter left Campaign Palace in 2011 after Reed Collins replaced him as a senior executive without Fishlock first being notified.
Campaign Palace – which closed its doors last June – was part of the WPP’s Y&R Brands group in Australia. Founded in 1972, it was once seen as one of Australia’s great creative agencies.
The court today heard details of a messy transfer of power which saw Collins – previously ECD at Leo Burnett Chicago – demanding the title of “national executive creative director” above Fishlock’s “executive creative director” title.
Fishlock is suing Campaign Palace – which still technically exists but does not operate as an agency – for bonuses, redundancies and more following his 2011 sacking ahead of his contract’s end.
Fishlock worked at the Campaign Palace from 1993 to 1996 as a senior copywriter, before co-founding BMF – he is the F in the agency name – in 1996. He returned to The Campaign Palace in 2004.
The court heard today that Collins was appointed by New York-based boss Tony Granger, Young & Rubicam’s global chief creative officer, without Fishlock being informed. Granger worked as a partner to global CEO Hamish McLennan, who has since returned to Australia for a role within News Corp.
While Fishlock was being paid $350,000 for a four day week, the much younger Collins was prepared to be paid $325,000 annually with the elevated title, the court was told.
Collins moved to Australia and took up the role shortly before the famed agency folded following the departure of its final few key clients.
After his departure, Fishlock co-founded the agency Behaviour Change Partners where he is principal. Collins is understood to have returned to the US after a brief stint at WPP agency JWT.
After hearing a day’s evidence, Justice John Sacker directed both parties to seek settlement rather than complete another three days of hearings as set down.
The case is due to resume at 10am tomorrow if the parties have been unable to settle their differences.
- Marcus Casey was the only journalist present in court. Exclusive in-depth coverage of today’s court hearing will appear in the tablet edition of Encore, published on Thursday