Forget Michael Jackson. This Is The Trial To Keep An Eye On.

Where’s Geraldo? Where’s Court TV? Doesn’t matter. I’m glued to Adweek’s play-by-play coverage of the trial of Shona Seifert and Thomas Early, two former Ogilvy executives accused of fraud and conspiracy in an attempt to make up a $3 million revenue shortfall by overbilling the government on the Office of National Drug Control Policy account.
Anyone looking for a revealing look at the kind of office politics, duplicity, and general CYA that occurs at ad agencies ought to check out Adweek’s recaps. It seems prosecutors have been very aggressive in trying to expose how and why Ogilvy folks falsified their timesheets, and some of the witnesses have been caught in their own web of lies.
Really, there’s nothing shocking here to anyone familiar with agency life; but usually, this kind of thing is the stuff of private gossip, making this trial somewhat enlightening.
I do have a couple of questions. Ogilvy is owned by WPP, a public holding company. So where, ultimately, does the pressure to maximize revenue come from? Are Seifert and Early just the fall guys here?

About Dan Goldgeier

Blogging on AdPulp since 2005, Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. In addition, he is a regular columnist for Dan published the best of his columns in a book entitled View From The Cheap Seats: A Broader Look at Advertising, Marketing, Branding, Global Politics, Office Politics, Sexual Politics, and Getting Drunk During a Job Interview. Look for it on Amazon in paperback and e-book editions.


  1. Peeking inside O & M

    Danny at Adpulp pointed me to Adweek’s coverage of O&M Execs accused of fraud on the US Government’s anti-drug account. Danny commentsAnyone looking for a revealing look at the kind of office politics, duplicity, and general CYA that occurs at…

  2. IPG_is_Fun says:

    I agree with you about AdWeek’s coverage – riveting! dramatic! people bursting out into tears on the stand!
    I worked with Early (and many of the witnesses) at O&M pre-ONDCP; Early used to work at my current agency … as far as he’s concerned, the schadenfreude is running really thick right now.