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

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. Dan is also a columnist for and the author of View From The Cheap Seats and Killer Executions and Scrubbed Decks.