Freaks and Leaks

}Memo to Laurie Coots: If you don’t want something leaked, try to avoid e-mailing it to everyone in your office.

Coots, chief marketing officer at TBWA\Chiat\Day in Playa del Rey, Calif., was peeved last week that someone had “cockily leaked” to the press that the AT&T Wire less account, which the agency was pitching, was “in the bag.” How do we know? Coots sent a memo admonishing such behavior—apparently to hundreds of colleagues. Naturally, the e-mail was then leaked to Shoptalk.

“This kind of comment, to the press, a friend, or anyone outside [the] walls of this agency could have a very negative impact on the outcome of this pitch,” Coots writes in the six-paragraph memo. “We certainly do not want the client to see us as an arrogant agency. … Reported rumors of this kind are often planted to make us look like arrogant, self indulgent assholes. So please don’t be a participant or contributor in any way.” Perhaps confirming her fears, the business did subsequently go to Ogilvy & Mather.

Shoptalk found the memo amusing, except for the reference to reporters “circling like sharks.” For the record, we prefer the more PC term “marine cartilaginous fishes.”

In the note, Coots offers a final gruff reminder: “Speaking to the press is strictly against company policy and grounds for termina tion. … The best idea is to keep a lid on it.” Maybe in future she will.