You should following the world of advertising, it can get very dramatic and soap opera like… what fun! Breaking News: Thomas Early, a former finance director at Ogilvy & Matherâ€™s New York office, was sentenced to 14 months in prison and a $10,000 fine for his part in a plot to defraud the government on the national anti-drug account.
A brief run down of this saga… Since 1999ish, Ogilvy has worked with the United States Goverment (The Office of National Drug Control Policy to be exact) to produce that anti-drug campaign we all know and love ( IF YOU BUY DRUGS, YOU SUPPORT TERRORISM… and others). Turns out, in 1999 Ogilvy underestimated the amount of billable hours they needed to work on the campaing… so someone thought, hmmm, the goverment thinks they need to pay X amount of $$ already, so lets fugde some numbers and bill them for time we were working on other campaigns, we’ll charge the goverment $X like they thought we would… whats the worst that could happen…
Well, turns out thousands of timesheets were doctored to make up for a $3 million revenue shortfall. Granted the White House was spending over $1 billion dollars on the campaign over the course of 5 years … but come on. What criminal mastermind over there didn’t realise that it would probably not be the best idea to screw with the one client that honestly has the law on their side (oh wait, they ARE the law)… and cheating the government out of money is basically cheating the American public out of money. And that makes this tax-payer a bit perturbed.
In the grand scheme of things this may not amount to much, but I have been rejected by Ogilvy twice, so why not smile while hearing about their shortcomings 😛 Brandweek, my fav ad industry publication, has done a good job of covering the story, if you want more juicy details.