One of the area's largest advertising agencies is charging former employes with pirating major advertising accounts when they broke away to form a new agency.
W. B. Doner & Co. filed suit in Baltimore City circuit court, accusing the principals of Smith Burke & Azzam Advertising with misappropriating the established firm's business by whisking away accounts with the Roy Rogers division of Marriott Corp. and with Quality Inns International.
The suit names three former Doner employes, Barry L. Smith, Eugene Azzam and Daniel R. Baileys Jr. It also names Joseph McD. Burke, a former senior vice president with Roy Rogers and chairman of the new advertising firm.
Smith Burke & Azzam opened Nov. 2 and shortly afterward announced it had acquired the Roy Rogers account, Quality Inns International and Big Boy Restaurants East. Smith, who is president of the new firm, had been an executive vice president of Doner. Azzam had worked for Doner 31 years and had been executive vice president and creative director of Doner's Baltimore office. Baileys, who joined Doner in 1979, was an account executive. He resigned from the firm earlier this year.
The lawsuit claims the three former Doner employes conspired with Burke to form a new agency with Roy Rogers as a client. It also alleges that they solicited the advertising business of Quality Inns International for the new firm while they were still working for Doner.
Smith Burke & Azzam officials did not return telephone inquiries about the lawsuit.