New York Attorney General Investigation

2017 Services Agreement between the NRA and Ackerman (Exhibit 1 to 9/30 AG Motion)

September 30, 2019

Filing Summary

This filing is the Services Agreement between the NRA and Ackerman. The Agreement includes: (1) a list of the services provided by Ackerman; (2) the pricing for those services; (3) a nondisclosure agreement; and (4) provisions outlining what happens if the Agreement is terminated.

Key Points

  • The Agreement provides that Ackerman is “in the business of providing comprehensive communications services[,] including public relations, crisis management, strategic marketing, advertising and creative, as well as owned media and internet services, and warrants and represents that it possesses the capability, necessary personnel, political strength, equipment and other related items to perform such services.” (Pg. 12.)
  • Ackerman agrees to provide services to the NRA, including: (1) crisis management, (2) media relations including placing features and op-eds in national media; (3) advice and counsel on “strategic issues to provoke public debate;” (4) speechwriting; and (5) the management and production of NRATV. (Pgs. 1–2.)
  • The Agreement includes provisions relating to the pricing of Ackerman’s services. Most of the services Ackerman provides are billed “based on the fair market value of the work as determined by the NRA and Ackerman.” (Pg. 3.) The Agreement provides that “[w]hen reasonable time is available, cost estimates will be submitted for approval by NRA” prior to the services being provided. (Pg. 3.). The NRA pays for other services based on a yearly flat fee. (Pg. 5.). For services outside the scope of the Service Agreement, the pricing “will be agreed-upon in advance whenever possible[, but if] no specific agreement [is] made, Ackerman will charge NRA a fair market value price for the work performed.” (Pg. 6.)
  • Upon termination of the Agreement, the NRA agrees to pay Ackerman “the balance of the compensation payable” under any non-cancellable contracts Ackerman enters for the benefit of the NRA. (Pg. 11.) The NRA also agrees to pay a termination fee to compensate Ackerman for its employees hired for the benefit of the NRA. (Pgs. 11–12.) That fee is determined by good faith negotiations between Ackerman and the NRA. (Pg. 12.)