Ogilvy & Mather employee accuses agency of double billing IBM for digital costs

Audrey Gladitsch, an associate digital media manager at Ogilvy & Mather’s Neo@Ogilvy digital arm, has accused the agency of charging IBM twice what it should have since 2006.

Gladitsch made the allegation in a New York court last week as part of an employment dispute with the WPP-owned agency giant. IBM is one of O&M’s biggest accounts and spent $21m on US internet media in 2009 according to Ad Age.

She says the over-billing amounted to “several millions of dollars.” O&M strenuously denies the allegation.

Whatever the truth of the matter this is embarrassing for both O&M and WPP, which many in the agency world accuse of putting too much pressure on employees to hit financial targets.

In 2005 an O&M employee Shona Seifert was jailed for 18 months and fined $125,000 for her role in over-billing the US National Drug Control Policy office to make up an income shortfall.

Siefert is married to current O&M North America chairman and CEO John Seifert.

As part of her sentence she was required to write a code of ethics for the advertising industry, the judge at the trial observing that the industry didn’t seem to have one.

Wonder what they did with it?

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Audrey Gladitsch double billing IBM John Seifert neo@ogilvy new york court O&M ogilvy & mather Shona Seifert us national drug control policy office WPP

About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.
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