Late in the game of planning Microsoft's big Kinect launch party in Times Square last fall, Tom Hennigan, owner of the P.R.omotion! promotion firm, says he was told the party needed to be bigger. It needed Ne-Yo. Problem was, the city of New York requires a permit to bring in reasonably recognizable pop artists like Mr. Yo. So to keep the city from pulling the plug on the whole party, Hennigan claims that he had to promise to pay $45,000 in expected fines to the city. He'd like that money back now, plus fees.
Adweek reports that Hennigan is suing Microsoft, as well as the New York advertising agency Mother and Craig McNary, the Microsoft executive who, Hennigan says, forced him at the last minute to add a performance by Ne-Yo to the rapidly expanding bash's schedule.
Hennigan's company claims in its suit that it stressed to Microsoft and Mother that the city was highly adverse to changes. Nevertheless, half an hour before the first sale, the police threatened to shut down the whole event because no one had told them that the top-selling singer would be there. "McNary, who was present at the event, requested [P.R.omotion!] negotiate with the city to ensure that the event would proceed," according to court papers.
Hennigan has a Buddhist outlook on the affair (do Buddhists sue?), saying that Microsoft is putting out "bad karma."
"I'm about good karma," he said. "The fact that I had to file this is not good karma."
Microsoft and Mother are mum on the suit.
Ne-Yo has offered his services as a mediator between the parties.