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Friday, July 15, 2005

Does this make any sense?

This comes in from Advertising Age Daily (reg req'd):
A federal judge has sentenced Shona Seifert to 18 months in prison and ordered her to pay a $125,000 fine for her role in the Ogilvy & Mather scheme to overbill the government on its national anti-drug ad account. The judge also ordered her to develop a written code of conduct for the advertising industry.

Let's see. Ms. Seifert breaks the law and she is the one who is charged with writing the code of conduct for the entire advertising industry!?!

Perhaps the "code" is to be written in the same spirit as students are charged with writing an essay on why stuffing the nerd in the locker is inappropriate behavior. No one expects the essay to change anyone's behavior, but it is a form of punishment that is more acceptable than twenty lashes in the town square.

From the story itself, "[t]he code of conduct is due to Judge Berman by Oct. 15, but it’s unclear what will he will do with it." No duh. I assume it will be posted on the Internet, it might make for some discussion in a classroom somewhere, and then everyone will promptly ignore/forget about it. Exactly what influence a convicted criminial in Danbury, CT, will have on the advertising activity in Laos is not clear.

But here's something interesting. Half way through the story we find this little nugget:
Ms. Seifert, a British citizen, was also ordered to cooperate with immigration and naturalization authorities who could decide to deport her. In court papers filed prior to the hearing, her lawyers stated that "Shona faces the prospect of deportation proceedings and the real possibility of being forced to leave the United States."

A foreign national tries to defraud the U.S. Federal government and there is only a "prospect" that she will be deported? What a generous country we live in.

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