Jailed Siefert Unveils Her 'Code of Ethics' for Ad Industry

05 September 2005

Writing a report for a client can often seem like a penal sentence. For Shona Seifert, former senior partner and executive group director at Ogilvy & Mather New York, it was exactly that!

Her client is federal district judge Richard M Berman, who on July 14 found Seifert and her former colleague Thomas Early, guilty of fraudulently overbilling the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy in 1999 and 2000.

He sentenced her to eighteen months incarceration plus a $125,000 fine. And to prove that even federal district judges have sense of irony, His Honor also ordered Seifert to draft a code of advertising industry ethics.

Last week she delivered a twenty-page Proposed Code of Ethics for the Advertising Industry, written in terse prose and quoting such well-regarded advertising exemplars as Benjamin Franklin and Jack Welch, the legendary former ceo of General Electric.

Her magnum opus delivered, Seifert now faces the remainder of her jail term, lending a touch of genuine pathos to her tome's final sentence: "Boring work has never resulted in a prison sentence. Poor timekeeping practices have."

Admirer's of Oscar Wilde's Ballad of Reading Jail, also penned in prison, are unlikely to see Seifert's work in quite the same light. But it can be downloaded by clicking here.

Data sourced from AdAge (USA); additional content by WARC staff