Proctor & Gamble Blamed for Crumbling of Heroes Award Show

A lawsuit is currently being brought against Proctor & Gamble (NYSE:PG) by a group called “Operation: Heroes” (OH). The group is accusing the company of preventing a two hour “heroes” award show, scheduled to air on CBS (NYSE:CBS), from ever coming to be. Proctor & Gamble was a major sponsor of the event which was meant to honor members of the military, law enforcement, and firefighting departments, but Operation: Heroes says the company became too bossy and tried to turn the event into “a typical entertainment industry/advertiser-boasting awards show, i.e., glitzy, commercially scripted, unnecessarily expensive to the point of foreseeable embarrassment to the honored Heroes and their respective organizations.”

The awards show was intended to be an annual event starting in 2010 with the purpose of recognizing valor among those who protect and serve the United States. P&G allegedly entered into the sponsorship agreement in October of 2009 in which they pledged to contribute $1.425 million with a small amount going to Operation: Heroes and the rest going to purchase the air time from CBS.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, OH says that P&G “took an active and frequently invasive role in the development” of the awards show, which included making costly changes to the production budget and modifications to staff, sets, the event site, and talent. The plaintiffs say that these actions were outside of the scope of the sponsorship agreement.  Disagreements between the two sides ultimately resulted in funding being pulled by P&G which left CBS unpaid. CBS broke its ties with OH and said “that its reputation had been tarnished such that CBS would not consider broadcasting OH’s event at any future date, even if the entire time-buy fee was paid in advance.”

Operation: Heroes is now suing P&G for breach of contract, interference with contract and negligence. A spokesperson for P&G says that they have received no formal notice of the matter. “If, in the future, we are served with a complaint, we will vigorously defend ourselves against any allegations.”