The Zoom call “prank” which resulted in the instant dismissal of Mindshare chief executive Nick Emery has finally been exposed – quite literally – following claims that he “mooned” colleagues as he took a toilet break during the virtual meeting.
While advertising trade rag Campaign has spared its readers’ blushes, other than reporting that it was a “juvenile and stupid” act, one agency staffer told The Sun: “He filmed himself with his bottom out while having a wee,” although others have insisted he “didn’t bare anything”.
However, it is understood that one or more colleagues who were on the Zoom call with Emery complained through an internal process, which triggered an investigation by Mindshare’s parent company Group M and WPP.
Senior executives concluded that Emery, who was was one of the founding members of the agency when it was launched by WPP in 1997, had to go. Neither Mindshare nor Emery have commented, but Group M announced last week that he was leaving “following a clear breach of the company’s code of conduct”.
Christian Juhl, the global chief executive of Group M who is now acting as interim CEO at Mindshare, said at the time: “At Group M and our agencies, we believe everyone should experience an inclusive and respectful workplace culture. Inappropriate and offensive behaviour is not tolerated in our company, and when we see any employee breach of our code of conduct, we take swift action.”
One source added: “Nick clearly didn’t think this through. It was a spontaneous prank gone horribly wrong.”
However, Emery is not the first and certainly won’t be the last person caught out in the Zoom era.
Earlier this week CNN senior legal commentator Jeffrey Toobin was sacked after allegedly masturbating during a work Zoom call, thinking his camera was switched off.
Sources told tech site Motherboard that Toobin had been seen playing with himself during the call, in what has reportedly become known as the “Zoom dick incident”.
In a statement, Toobin said: “I made an embarrassingly stupid mistake, believing I was off-camera. I apologise to my wife, family, friends and co-workers.I believed I was not visible on Zoom. I thought no one on the Zoom call could see me. I thought I had muted the Zoom video.”
Toobin is perhaps best known for his novel about the OJ Simpson trial in 1997, entitled “The Run of His Life: The People v OJ Simpson”, although this incident might just trump that now.
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