NEW YORK Shona Seifert, president of the New York office of Omnicom Group's TBWA\Chiat\Day, is taking a leave of absence to prepare for her trial on federal charges that as head of the Office of National Drug Control Policy account at Ogilvy & Mather, she and a former colleague overbilled the U.S. Government.
In a statement issued today, Seifert said: "I have never committed any wrongdoing at any point in my life and I am facing a February trial on charges of which I am confident I will be exonerated. This will require my complete attention so I have asked TBWA for a three-month leave of absence beginning Jan. 1, 2005."
The move comes two weeks after Brett Gosper joined the shop as president of TBWA's New York Group, which includes TBWA\C\D, Brand Architecture International and Tequila.
In the statement, Seifert added, "TBWA has graciously granted me that paid leave and I am looking forward to working with Brett Gosper to ensure a smooth transition between now and the end of the year."