National Rifle Association Sues Former Ad Agency

DALLAS (CN) – The National Rifle Association sued Ackerman McQueen in federal court on Friday, demanding its former public relations firm remove from its website references of the gun lobby and its “failed” online TV station NRATV.

Filed Friday in Dallas, the lawsuit is the latest legal bout between the NRA and its estranged longtime public relations firm after the two parted ways in June, triggering litigation in Virginia state court over unfair billing practices.

According to the new lawsuit, Ackerman McQueen continued to prominently refer to the NRA on its website after the termination of the services contract in order to mislead the public about their relationship.

Illinois gun owners and supporters fill out National Rifle Association applications on March 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File)

“Those references are unauthorized and falsely suggest that the NRA continues to be an AMc client and endorser of AMc’s services in connection with NRATV when, in fact, the NRA terminated NRATV because of its failure to achieve the objectives for which it was begun,” the lawsuit states.

The NRA claims the numerous references and images of it featured on Ackerman McQueen’s website are unauthorized and likely to cause confusion.

“Ackerman McQueen continues to use the properties of the NRA and extol its relationship with the association,” said NRA attorney Michael Collins, partner at the Dallas firm Brewer, Attorneys & Counselors, in a statement. “This is likely to mask a cold reality: the NRA believes Ackerman abused the trust of the Association, took benefits to which it was not entitled, and misled NRA leadership about the value and performance of the agency’s services.”

Ackerman McQueen, which has represented the NRA since the 1980s, fired back at the gun lobby, saying in a statement that the lawsuit represents “a new low in the NRA’s ceaseless waste of its members’ dues.”

“The NRA stopped fighting for any aspect of their members’ agenda over a year ago. Instead, they became a factory for frivolous lawsuits,” the statement said.

Along with Ackerman McQueen, the NRA sued executives Henry Martin and Jesse Greenberg and subsidiary Mercy Group.

The NRA seeks damages for false representation of facts, copyright and conversion. The lawsuit also requests an injunction prohibiting Ackerman McQueen and its employees from making any references of the NRA on its website or further use of its brand.

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