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Online Exclusive: Courtroom News

SHONA SEIFERT IS OUT AT TBWA/CHIAT/DAY

Agency Says Departure Was by 'Mutual Agreement'

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- A week after being convicted of defrauding the federal government while working on its anti-drug ad account, Shona Seifert has stepped down from her post as president of the New York office of Omnicom Group's TBWA/Chiat/Day.
Photo: Louis Lanzano
Shona Seifert is out at TBWA New York, where she was president. The move follows her conviction for conspiracy and fraud while she was at WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather.

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Ms. Seifert and the agency "have mutually agreed to her resignation, effective Feb. 28," according to a TBWA spokesman. Ms. Seifert had been on paid leave since the beginning of the year to prepare for the trial.

The agency declined further comment.

Ogilvy timesheets case
The resignation was widely expected following her conviction last week of leading a scheme to overbill the Office of National Drug Control Policy in 1999 while she worked at WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather. Thomas Early, who was finance director of Ogilvy's New York office until his indictment last January, was also convicted. They face up to five years in prison and fines.

Both Mr. Early and Ms. Seifert, who are scheduled to be sentenced May 16, plan to appeal.

Brett Gosper
Ms. Seifert's departure clears the way for Brett Gosper, who was brought in last August and later assumed Ms. Seifert's role. As president of TBWA's New York Group, Mr. Gosper has a broader set of responsibilities than Ms. Seifert did, including a direct report to the network's worldwide president-CEO, Jean-Marie Dru.

Mr. Seifert left Ogilvy in 2002 to join TBWA. Her biggest accomplishment while running TBWA's New York office was her prominent role in winning Nextel's $150 million-a-year advertising business, the office's biggest client.

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