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NRA sues ad agency for withholding billing documentation

By Danielle Haynes
The NRA said the advertising agency withheld a contract with NRA President Oliver North, pictured February 28 at the Conservative Political Action Conference. File Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/0b6c9dd2a466d62b91d931b79f9b216a/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
The NRA said the advertising agency withheld a contract with NRA President Oliver North, pictured February 28 at the Conservative Political Action Conference. File Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo

April 17 (UPI) -- The National Rifle Association sued Oklahoma-based advertising agency Ackerman McQueen, saying the company refused to provide documentation about billing. 

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Virginia, accused Ackerman McQueen and its public relations unit, Mercury Group, of breach of contract. The NRA has used the agency for decades and paid the company more than $42 million in 2017. 

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The NRA said Ackerman McQueen withheld information when the non-profit organization asked to review a contract between the agency and NRA President Oliver North to host an NRATV documentary series. The NRA also said it sought to review Ackerman McQueen's spending on NRA advertising. 

"Ackerman McQueen is interfering with the NRA's ability to steward its funds in pursuit of its public mission," the lawsuit reads. "Moreover, Ackerman McQueen's baseless refusal to permit a fulsome review of the North contract threatens to impede the NRA's corporate governance process."

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Ackerman McQueen called the lawsuit "frivolous" and "malicious" in a statement released to Oklahoma City newspaper The Journal Record. The company said the NRA received all documentation it requested during a three-week review. 

"Despite the representation set forth in the lawsuit, the NRA had the personnel contract they claim AM withheld," the agency said. 

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