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AD BOSS TOLD ME I WAS HIS ULTIMO GIRL; Writer claims boss fired her for turning him down.

Byline: By Fiona Davidson

AN ADVERTISING copywriter claims her 'sex pest' boss dubbed her his 'Ultimo woman'. Lea Simpson told an employment tribunal married Paul Simblett asked her to bring a sample of lacy underwear to work.

And she said he told her: 'I don't know what underwear you wear. You are my Ultimo woman.'

Miss Simpson, a copywriter at the advertising agency where Simblett is joint creative director, insists she was sacked after rejecting his advances.

She is claiming sexual discrimination against Glasgow agency Merle. The company insist she was sacked for poor work.

Yesterday, Miss Simpson, 23, told the tribunal Simblett showered her with com-pliments as they attended a launch party in the city's Kelly Cooper Bar a year ago.

She said: 'I didn't want to offend him. I just felt if my body language would show I wasn't interested that was a better route to go down.

'He asked if he could kiss me. I asked if that was what he did with his copywriters, if it was part of the deal. He said he had never done it before.

'He said he could separate the woman from the copywriter and asked me if I could do the same thing. I said I didn't want to.'

Miss Simpson, of Kelvindale, Glasgow, added: 'I kept trying to keep my hands occupied so he wouldn't hold them. I retied my ponytail. He said he loved watching me play with my hair. I didn't like that.'

The next day, he called her into the boardroom and she said she told him: 'Don't worry about last night. I know youhad a lot to drink.'

She said: 'He said he did have a lot to drink but he meant every word he said. He said I was very talented. He also said it was very difficult to work with someone you were attracted to.

'I told him any relationship outwith a professional capacity was a no-go area.'

But Miss Simpson said after that her work was rejected.

She continued: 'I had gone from an incredibly talented member of staff they were happy to have on board to someone who couldn't get it right.'

She said she wasn't surprised when told by joint creative director John Bedford four months later that they were going to have to ask her to leave.

She added: 'John was smiling when he asked me to leave. He asked me if I was surprised. I said no and I couldn't help but wonder if things would have been different if I had slept with Paul.'

Simblett has dismissed Miss Simpson's claims as nonsense. The hearing in Glasgow continues.


CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Paul Simblett; UNDERWEAR PLEA: Copywriter Lea Simpson claims her boss was a sex pest
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:May 18, 2004
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