Ethics 101?

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image copyright 2005 olivier blanchard

Former Ogilvy executive Shona Seifert (whose role in an alledged scheme to overbill the Office of National Drug Control Policy has recently given her more media and legal attention than she probably ever wished for) made ammends this week by submitting to U.S. District Court Judge Richard M. Berman a code of ethics for the advertising industry.

While the document isn't much of a code of ethics at all, it is telling of Ms. Seifert's perception of the conditions that eventually (and alledgedly) led her down the wrong path.

The thing about ethics is that there is no gray area. Either you do the right thing or you don't. Whining about why you made bad choices and chose to play a part in ripping-off a client sounds kind of hollow once you've done it... and got caught. It doesn't matter how much pressure your bosses put on you, Shona. You didn't have to go along with it.

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