Ogilvy & Mather Trial = Guilty!

Mr. Early and Ms. Seifert were found guilty of conspiracy and fraud in the administration and work on the White House anti-drug office ad account in 1999 and will be sentenced May 16, face up to the five years in prison and a fine.

Currently they are both out on bail and it's it is unlikely that either defendant will see five years in prison. Back in 1999 Early and Seifert found out that the labour billings on the White House account were far below what Ogilvy & Mather had anticipated, and decided to save face by instruction emploeyees to pad their timesheets.

Ms Seifert who left Ogilvy in 2002 to become president of the New York office of TBWA/Chiat/Day, hid her face in her hands when the jury read out the guilty verdict. It's unclear if the felony verdict will void her executive employment contract at TBWA.

More at AdAge

The heart of the defense's strategy turned out to be the testimonies of the defendants, who last week took the witness stand to make their case. However, those testimonies failed to dent the prosecution's case, despite its own shortcomings. For instance, the government attorneys often struggled to communicate exactly how much the government was overbilled. They also at times had trouble linking the defendants to the actions of lower-level employees, who largely inhabited the Ogilvy media department. Each defendant worked in other departments.

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Neo's picture

It could have been me.

CopyWhore's picture

You've got to admit, though, that it's pretty unfair when you've got a host of witnesses testifying against you, all of whom are receiving immunity... When the prosecution strikes that kind of deal with the witnesses, chances are they'll say whatever they're told (provided they don't go to jail...)

None of which absolves Seifert and Early.

But obviously, this kind of widespread fraud doesn't happen merely because of two people. There were obviously far more people responsible for the scheme; it just seems that these two were singled out so they could be used as an Example.

And the real question is: who (and where) is the whistleblower responsible for the whole affiar?

Probably out of the ad business (bless his/her soul!)! And probably kicking it on some tropical island somewhere!

Dabitch's picture

Adage today: SHONA SEIFERT IS OUT AT TBWA/CHIAT/DAY

Agency Says Departure Was by 'Mutual Agreement'
Ms. Seifert and the agency "have mutually agreed to her resignation, effective Feb. 28," according to a TBWA spokesman. Ms. Seifert had been on paid leave since the beginning of the year to prepare for the trial. The agency declined further comment.

Also, ad-verve and others are gabbing a little about this in this ad chat forum.