Thursday, April 13, 2006

Values vs. Billings

From an article yesterday at the website of KTLA (Los Angeles' WB station):
"A former Fleishman-Hillard vice president testified...that she padded the public relations firm's bills to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power by as much as $50,000 a month...(When asked) why? (the PR exec replied) 'We hadn't met our projections...We needed to bump up our hours.'"
F-H management has been trying to distance themselves from these so-called "rogue agents."

I know some F-H folks, and they are great people. But, I also doubt that the F-H execs now on the stand were "rogues." The F-H pros I've talked to complained that achieving their quotas was paramount. I am paraphrasing here, but the sentiment was, "You don't submit your time unless it matches what the beancounters were projecting."

On F-H's list of Agency Principles, #10 out of 10 is, "We are committed to the highest ethical standards." Given this billing debacle in L.A., they might want to bump that trait up a few notches ... and maybe allow the re-jiggering of their value system to spawn an internal debate about their billing system.


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