NRA v. Ackerman, Texas

NRA v. Ackerman Initial Complaint

August 30, 2019

Filing Summary

This was the initial complaint in the Texas federal court action, with the NRA making very limited allegations about Ackerman referencing its work for the NRA on its website and allegedly violating copyrights. The complaint is only 11 pages and was later superseded by the NRA’s amended complaint (which makes much broader claims against Ackerman).  In addition to Ackerman McQueen and the Mercury Group, the complaint names individual defendants Henry Martin and Jesse Greenberg.   

Key Points

  • The filing states that “the NRA has recently discovered that [Ackerman] betrayed the trust placed in the agency on numerous levels.  Not only did [Ackerman] abuse the NRA by regularly overcharging and falsifying invoices, it is now known that defendants (along with others) conspired to mislead the NRA leadership” about the performance of NRATV. (para. 2) 
  • The crux of the NRA’s initial complaint, however, relates to Ackerman’s continued use and reference to the work Ackerman did with the NRA in its marketing materials. 
  • In particular, the NRA claims Ackerman’s website “give[s] the false impression that all of the featured campaigns were successful.”  Instead, the NRA claims that “[m]any 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.” (para. 4)
  • The NRA seeks to enjoin Ackerman from “continuing to falsely associate itself in public as a services provider for the NRA” or using “its brand or its property” and seeking damages for such. (para. 5)
  • There are three causes of action alleged: “false representation of facts” (para. 24-30), copyright infringement (para. 31-36), and conversion (para. 37-42).