Droga5, a prominent advertising agency, fired its chief creative officer, Ted Royer, on Thursday after having placed him on leave earlier this week, citing a commitment to “maintaining a safe and inclusive environment for all our employees.”
The termination is of note because it follows a string of executive exits from other major ad agencies in recent months, including the Martin Agency and Wieden + Kennedy, which were accompanied by similarly nonspecific official statements invoking company values and guidelines.
The New York agency told its staff earlier this week that it had hired an outside firm to conduct an investigation into Mr. Royer, according to Adweek. Droga5 said that it could not share any information about the type of firm it had hired or the nature of any complaints, according to a spokeswoman, who added, “This is a legal matter now.”
Women across industries nationwide have felt emboldened to report workplace misconduct after the publication of sexual harassment allegations in The New York Times and other news outlets against the Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and many other men in positions of power.
Droga5, which was founded in 2006, was responsible for The Times’s ad campaign, “The Truth Is Hard,” including a recent commercial that put a spotlight on its coverage of sexual harassment and assault cases in the last year. The Times is likely to continue its partnership with the firm in the wake of the move, said Eileen Murphy, a spokeswoman for The New York Times Company.
“As we have seen repeatedly, the issue of appropriate workplace conduct has impacted most industries and we were very concerned when Droga let us know this news,” Ms. Murphy said. “Based on what we know now, we’re comfortable continuing to work with our team there.”
Mr. Royer, who declined to comment for this article, joined Droga5 more than a decade ago and became its chief creative officer in 2013. The agency has worked on popular campaigns including one for Under Armour with the dancer Misty Copeland and Anna Kendrick’s almost-Super Bowl commercial for Newcastle Brown Ale.
David Droga, the founder and creative chairman of the firm, said in an interview on Tuesday that the decision to investigate Mr. Royer was an effort to “understand what’s really going on.”