The backlash to Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide’s reappointment to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy business continues, with a Senate appropriations committee panel threatening to slash the account’s budget by over 40%.
O&M was reselected as the body’s agency despite accusations it overbilled – allegations the shop spent $1.8 million (€1.8m; £0.64m) to settle.
As expected [WAMN: 10-Jul-02], opposition was led by Senator Byron Dorgan (Democrat, North Dakota). “This is a company that knowingly and willingly filed fraudulent billing invoices,” he blasted. “I would not have selected them. I'm more than a little steamed about this.”
The panel is trying to cut the account’s budget from $180 million to $100m and is considering further measures for when the full Senate Appropriations Committee addresses the bill granting the money next week.
The House Appropriations Committee also wants to reduce the billings, though only to $170m. A House-Senate Conference Committee will consequently have to reach a compromise level.
News source: AdAge.com; additional content by WARC staff