Disenchanted Ogilvy & Mather employee Audrey Gladitsch has accused O&M digital media unit Neo@Ogilvy in a New York court of deliberately overcharging big client IBM for ‘millions of dollars’ worth of ads on a number of websites.
IBM has so far declined to comment on the matter but O&M’s North America chairman and CEO John Seifert has issued a memo to all staff saying that billing discrepancies (which he doesn’t deny) were the result of failures on the part of the various online media owners in receipt of IBM’s money and have now been resolved by the issuing of appropriate credits.
He also says that O&M received no more money than it should have while this was going on, which presumably means that the agency has not had to hand back any money to IBM. IBM, he says, considers the matter ‘closed.’
The transactions he refers to in the memo occurred in 2009 and 2010 while Gladitsch’s complaints go back to 2006. Gladitsch is still employed by O&M.
Seifert’s memo could hardly be more clear but its scope is limited. IBM’s official silence on the matter (so far) could mean something or nothing.
It would be interesting to know which were the websites which paid back the money and how much. And how did such a discrepancy arise, particularly when there was an expert digital media agency, Neo@Ogilvy, involved.