Advertising agency SpotCo is suing producer Scott Rudin for what it says is more than $6 million in owed payments.
At issue is unpaid work the agency says it has done on Rudin’s Broadway productions including “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “West Side Story,” “The Waverly Gallery,” “The Lehman Trilogy,” “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” “The Music Man,” and more. SpotCo filed the suit after a dispute arose in September 2019 between the agency and Rudin over outstanding payments.
The two parties were unable to resolve the dispute over the subsequent months and thus SpotCo turned to litigation, according to the suit filed Wednesday in the Supreme Court for the State of New York.
Asked for comment on the suit, Rudin’s attorney responded saying the case had “no merit.”
“The case has no merit and the defendants intend to contest it vigorously,” Jonathan Zavin, an attorney for Scott Rudin Productions, said in a statement to Broadway News.
Attorney Sanford Michelman, counsel for SpotCo, did not respond to requests for comment.
SpotCo is a frequent collaborator on Rudin productions, working on eight to 12 of his shows every year since 2014. Throughout their relationship, the two parties have not had a formal written contract, and instead relied on oral agreements and directives from Rudin via email and in-person meetings, according to the suit.
In practice, this meant that SpotCo would buy ad placements in mediums such as the New York Times, at the directive of Rudin, and later file invoices for the cost, as well as additional work from the ad agency on the show. Buying the advertising space ahead of time allowed Rudin flexibility in deciding which of his productions to market in that space, the suit states.
According to the suit, Rudin and Scott Rudin Productions would traditionally accumulate outstanding invoices with SpotCo. Rudin and his production entities would then typically make partial payments on the outstanding invoices, while also requesting new services. Payment would eventually be made on closed productions.
However, after a dispute between the parties in September 2019 over the failure to pay outstanding invoices, Rudin and his production companies have still not paid the outstanding debt, the suit alleges.
“In the months that followed, the parties attempted to resolve the issues without resorting to litigation,” the suit states. “However, SpotCo’s repeated requests for payment of monies owed were ignored and the theatrical LLCs, Rudin, and SRP still have not paid the outstanding amounts owed.”
Other Rudin production entities named in the suit include those behind “King Lear,” “Hillary and Clinton,” and “Gary: A Sequel to Adronicus.”
SpotCo is seeking $6.3 million in damages and is suing over breach of oral contract, breach of implied in fact contract, unjust enrichment and breach of the warranty of good faith and fair dealing.