Ad Agency Counterclaims Against Radio One In Spot Payment Dispute
February 29, 2016 at 4:57 AM (PT)
Direct-response advertising agency DIRECT MEDIA POWER, INC.'s response to RADIO ONE's lawsuit for breach of contract contends that it has paid all accurate invoices, but a counterclaim alleges that RADIO ONE committed "contributory copyright infringement, tortious interference with prospective economic advantage, and breach of contract" through unauthorized use of DMPI scripts in spots for other clients, including tax and student loan relief services.
RADIO ONE sued DMPI for failure to pay $1.3 million of $1,909,503.25 owed for spots aired between OCTOBER 2014 and OCTOBER 2015; DMPI contends that scripts and audio called "Federal Tax Relief 9.20.2009," "Tax Hotline 9.20.2009." "Success Tax Relief 7.25.2013," "Consumer Tax Hotline," "National Student Loan Relief 10.12.12," and "Federal Student Loan Relief Script 6.13.2013" were used by RADIO ONE with changed phone numbers in the copy.
DMPI alleges that once RADIO ONE aired the infringing spots, it then invoiced DMPI for the third-party spots. After a 2014 review by a forensic accountant, DMPI says, a "virtual avalanche of wrongfully billed advertising DMPI did not purchase" was discovered. DMPI is seeking injunctive relief and statutory ($300,000 per script) or actual damages for the alleged infringement, plus attorney's fees.
DMPI is also suing former RADIO ONE COO DAVID DEFRANZO for using its trade secrets for RADIO ONE, WESTWOOD ONE, and others.