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Progress: Conde Nast distances itself from Chahal

from Ad Age

Conde Nast distanced itself from ad tech company RadiumOne on Friday, after some people criticized the companies' relationship because of domestic abuse allegations against RadiumOne CEO Gurbaksh Chahal.

Mr. Chahal pleaded guilty last week to one count of domestic violence battery and one count of battery, according to a report in the San Francisco Business Times. Prosecutors had sought more than 40 felony charges but relented after the accuser, Mr. Chahal's girlfriend, stopped cooperating and a judge barred security footage that they said supported their case. Mr. Chahal received three years probation and must attend a violence training program and do community service, the report said.

The sentence set off a firestorm of criticism in blogs and on social media among those who felt it did not fit the alleged brutality of his actions. Several reports this week pointed out a partnership Conde Nast, publisher of Vogue,Glamour and GQ magazine, had struck recently with RadiumOne. "In the meantime, Chahal's company appears to be doing splendidly," Slate's Jordan Weissmann wroteThursday. "RadiumOne is planning a $100 million IPO. It signed a partnership with Conde Nast."

"I cannot imagine how Conde Nast, which makes much of its money off of women's magazines, could justify partnering with RadiumOne if he remains there," Mr. Weissmann wrote.

"I don't care how talented a person is," said a Conde Nast publisher who asked not to be identified by name. "I don't approve of the company associating with a person with that kind of background."

RadiumOne did not respond to emails and phone calls seeking comment Friday afternoon.

In a statement on Friday, Conde Nast said the company "is not and has never been an investor in or partner of RadiumOne." "Our Britain division has a vendor relationship for sales software with the company, as do many other U.K-based media companies," she added. "We do not condone abusive behavior and the U.K. company is reviewing its association."

RadiumOne is a startup that combines programmatic buying and social-data mining to deliver digital ads. The company hired adland veteran Eric Bader in June to be its first chief marketing officer.

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