Grey Scandal Puts Color In Cheeks

Adweek published a near book-length article today about corruption at Grey Global Group’s New York office. The centerpiece of the article reveals how the print production department was lavished with expensive gifts by vendors, particularly Color Wheel, a print shop. It goes on to describe a viscous billing cycle, where the vendor has to cover their gift costs by inflating the price of their services, which are then passed on to unsuspecting (no more) clients.
Advertising as a profession has long been viewed by the public as a field with no moral compass. Thus, it may not surprise many to learn that two Grey creatives wanted to hook up with some ladies of the night while on a shoot in Paris. The Color Wheel executive traveling with the horn dogs wasn’t sure if this was an expense his firm could cover, so he phoned the boss in New York for approval.
The boss said, “Whatever. If they’re going to be happy and it’s going to keep them happy, do it.'”



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.