Awards show ignites row after creative Ted Royer given public platform to address misconduct claims

The former Saatchi & Saatchi Singapore creative, who was fired by Droga5 amid allegations of sexual misconduct, has addressed the London International Awards, in a controversial appearance that has seen ad agency FCB terminate an agreement with the award organisers.

FCB is reported as saying that a “recent presentation given at the LIA was deeply upsetting to some of our team in attendance” – a reference to the presentation by Ted Royer.

In addition, FCB said the “reaction and response by the LIA has been very disappointing and unsatisfactory”.

“We are therefore terminating our partnership with them,” the agency said.

Royer, who was accused by an anonymous post on an Instagram account in 2018, spoke in Las Vegas at the London International Awards’ Creative Liaisons, which nurtures rising advertising talent.

Explaining the reason for giving Royer a platform to speak, LIA founder and president Barbara Levy said: “We live in a country that has due process and laws that allow an accused the right to face their accuser.

“I do not believe that an anonymous social media platform that does not allow the accused to respond should be allowed to indict, try and convict anyone.”

According to AdAge, Royer told the audience that “I’m here because I believe in face-to-face communication and I don’t want to hide any more”.

He went on to discuss the findings of an investigation into the claims, where he had been “flippant”, “made jokes” and was “flirty”.

“I encouraged drinking and drug use,” he said. “And I believed the old creative douche bag rock star notion that you have to party really hard and do great work to be someone of notice in this industry. I certainly behaved selfishly and immaturely.”

He denied one specific allegation of “attacking a girl in the hallway of the agency, tagging my clients”.

“They made it very, very hard to defend myself … I’ve talked to hundreds of people afterwards and a lot of people remembered this story and believed this story … This story is not true. If it is true, it’s not about me at all. At all. I never did act like this. But this stuck. This stuck to me like glue.”

Royer’s D&AD profile says his 20-year advertising career has “taken him around the world”, “most notably to Singapore (where his work helped Saatchi & Saatchi, Singapore become International Agency of the Year)”.



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