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Madison Road Countersues Mark Burnett Productions

Mar 9, 2005  •  Post A Comment

Madison Road Entertainment has countersued Mark Burnett Productions in Los Angeles Superior Court seeking $20 million plus damages for defamation of character, unfair competition and other causes of action.

Madison Road Entertainment, an entertainment marketing company, was sued March 3 by Mark Burnett Productions and its affiliates, charged with unfair business practices. In the suit, Burnett Productions claimed Madison Road unfairly profited from deals by charging advertisers exorbitant sums for product integration deals on Burnett Productions’ show “The Apprentice.” In some cases, Burnett’s suit said, this amounted to a 250 percent markup. Madison Road also fraudulently claimed to be the exclusive representative of Mark Burnett Productions, according to the complaint.

Madison Road said in its suit that it didn’t unfairly profit and that Burnett Productions was privy to contracts Madison Road executed on its behalf. Madison Road also asserted in its suit that at no time was there a 250 percent markup of any deal that it concluded with marketers for Burnett Productions.

Madison Road also contended it never claimed exclusive representation for Mark Burnett Productions. Madison Road did propose a semi-exclusive arrangement to buy 10 shows’ worth of product integration opportunities for $12 million for “The Apprentice 3,” now on the air. According to the complaint, Burnett Productions turned down the deal.

Steve Marenberg, attorney for Irell & Manella LLP for Mark Burnett Productions, had not see the lawsuit when contacted and couldn’t comment.