Ocean Drive Sues Former Employee For Siphoning Off Advertisers to Plum Mag

Get ready for the battle of Miami's glossy luxury magazines. Niche Media, the parent company of Ocean Drive, has filed a $20 million lawsuit against former ad sales director Eden Williams for allegedly siphoning off high-end advertisers to Plum Miami. That's the recently launched magazine extension of Plum TV which recently hired Jerry Powers as CEO. Powers just so happens to be the original founder of Ocean Drive and remained at the magazine until he was forced out after he sold to Niche.

According to Ad Week, Williams was hired by Niche in 2003, long before it owned Ocean Drive, with little magazine experience. Williams jumped ship to Plum in July 2010 a few months before Powers took control of the company.

Plum produces fancy, smancy cable channels in luxury markets through out America, including Miami Beach, and under Powers recently launched Plum Miami, a magazine, with plans to launch more titles in other Plum markets.

In essence, Powers is at war with his former title and Niche CEO Jason Binn (his one time protegee).

Though the Powers-Binn rivalry may underscore the legal drama, at the center of the suit is Williams. Reports Ad Age:

Under the terms of her contract, Williams would not be allowed to compete directly against her former employer for at least a year within a 150 mile radius of her former publications.

She is also barred from using the contacts she gained at Niche for another publisher.

If the judge agrees with Niche, Plum would also be barred from using Williams for ad sales.

Something tells us that the war between Plum and Ocean Drive is just getting started, and will be a lot more interesting than anything either title fills their pages with.

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Kyle Munzenrieder