The drama between the National Rifle Association and its former advertising firm is playing out in yet another lawsuit.
The NRA filed its latest lawsuit Friday in Dallas against Ackerman McQueen, as well as two of Ackerman’s employees. The gun rights group is already embroiled in a lawsuit with Ackerman in Virginia.
After more than 30 years in business together, the NRA and Ackerman parted ways earlier this year amid a caustic legal battle. The NRA sued Ackerman over its billing practices. Ackerman countersued for defamation.
The latest legal action comes as the group faces intense scrutiny of its finances, a shakeup in its legal team and leadership, and criticism in the wake of two mass shootings earlier this month.
In the new lawsuit, the NRA claims that Ackerman is still touting its work for the NRA on its website, giving the impression that the NRA is still a client and that it endorses the work Ackerman performed on its behalf.
“For example, Ackerman’s website falsely proclaims that NRATV is the ‘world’s most comprehensive video coverage of freedom-related news, events and culture,’ which creates the misimpression that NRATV was a successful endeavor that the NRA endorses,” according to the NRA’s complaint.
“In actuality, the NRA recently concluded … that NRATV was a failed endeavor under any appropriate performance metric.”
NRATV shut down in June when the NRA and Ackerman severed their business relationship.
Ackerman shot back in a statement Friday, calling the NRA a “factory for frivolous lawsuits.”
“This latest meritless filing 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,” according to a statement from the Ackerman firm. “The NRA continues to spend its members’ money on useless fights in an obvious attempt to deflect attention from its dwindling influence across the country.”
The NRA’s complaint also says Ackerman’s website features ad campaigns it created for the NRA and makes them sound far more successful than they were.
“Many of these campaigns, which cost clients tens of millions of dollars, were shut down because of their ineffectiveness, costliness, and Ackerman’s reluctance to provide performance data in accordance with its client obligations,” according to the NRA’s lawsuit.
The NRA is aiming to force Ackerman to remove any references to the NRA or NRA-copyrighted works from its website and return any creative works or intellectual property that belong to the NRA. The gun rights group is also seeking damages, although the lawsuit does not specify an amount.