John Seifert Made Chairman at Ogilvy; His Ex-Con Wife Is Still in Business

Last Updated Feb 22, 2011 11:43 AM EST

Ogilvy & Mather has promoted John Seifert* to chairman of Ogilvy North America. The move is noteworthy because it raises the spectre of his wife, Shona Seifert, a former account manager at Ogilvy who did 18 months in prison in 2005 after she was convicted of defrauding the federal government on its billion-dollar anti-drug account.

68044-johnseifert.jpgShona Seifert has resurrected her career as a marketing consultant. She joins Julie Roehm, the former advertising chief at Wal-Mart who took gifts from agencies while handling an account review, in the two-person "Comeback League of Disgraced Advertising Power Blondes." (Roehm has also started her own consultancy.) You can see Seifert's resume here, showing the two-year gap in which she made license plates and cracked rocks.

Her company, Acceleration Partnership, made "late-stage re-directions [that] resulted in the acclaimed Ford Edge," her web site claims.

John Seifert's promotion appears to be a demotion for former co-CEO Bill Gray, who now becomes vice chairman, which Ad Age describes as "being moved aside" for "a senior account-management role."

In the Seifert scandal, Gray testified that although he personally did no wrongdoing, he said "get a fix on it" to Seifert when problems arose on the account. (He also testified that he didn't understand the client contract he had signed, and he was confused by his own agency's revenue projections.)

Of course, one might ask why Shona Seifert is still in the country. She's British, not American. Most convicted felons are elligible to be deported back to their countries of origin upon finishing their sentences. As Adweek noted at the time,

her lawyer, Greg Craig, said his office had not been contacted by the Department of Homeland Security and he knew of no such plans. An Immigration and Customs Enforcement rep said Seifert is not in its database of people in removal proceedings.
You'll notice that Craig is one of the most powerful lawyers in the country. He's currently President Obama's White House counsel. That's America for you: One law for wealthy ad execs, another for Cambodian gang members.

*Correction: This item originally gave John Seifert's first name as "Tom." That's wrong, obviously. Apologies.