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?