THE BOOK OF LISTS: The 10 Worst Jobs in Advertising

campaignlive.co.uk, Tuesday, 17 December 2002 12:00AM

1. SEAN ORR, IPG

There are some dirty jobs in advertising, then there's the task of being the chief financial officer at Interpublic Group. In 2002, mounting debt and the discovery of some $181 million of accounting errors in McCann-Erickson's European operations combined to make this a year from hell for Sean Orr.

2. RANDY WEISENBERGER, OMNICOM

Corporate accounting scandals have been flavour of the year in the US and Omnicom did its bit for the advertising sector. An article in the Wall Street Journal, alleging Omnicom had misleadingly reported growth in organic revenue, sent stock plummeting. Weisenberger, Omnicom's chief financial officer, was the man in the firing line but, happily, healthy profits across the year kept guns lowered.

3. CAROLINE MCDEVITT, BARB

It's not as though the launch of a new TV audience measurement panel leapt upon Barb out of the blue, so quite why the new panel turned out to be such an embarrassing cock-up is hard to fathom. Confidence in the trading currency was shaken to the core and McDevitt was the woman with head between crap and fan.

4. CHRIS THOMAS, LOWE

Those of a superstitious bent might blame the Curse of Campaign (Lowe won Campaign's Agency of the Year in 2001) but Chris Thomas will have had to take a rather more practical view of what has been a disastrous year for his agency. Heineken, Vauxhall's Corsa and Astra, Burger King, Orange - losses have neared £100 million. A classic annus horribilis for Thomas.

5. SPIN DOCTOR FOR IPA BELLWETHER REPORT

As the industry took the knocks of redundancy, pay freezes, cut-backs and the general gloom of recession, the IPA tried to put a positive spin on the findings of its regular Bellwether report on the industry's economic outlook. Sifting the effluent for a few nuggets of good news must have been a thankless task.

6. THE PERSON WHO ORGANISES AWARDS ENTRIES at any agency after the great Belford and Roberts doctoring scandal

The furore over the doctored ads for COI Communications and The Observer supplied to the Campaign Press Awards by Paul Belford and Nigel Roberts (then at Ogilvy & Mather) prompted many agencies to tighten their system for verifying awards entries. Verifying entries is now a thankless, though vital, task.

7. ANYONE INVOLVED IN THE SONY MEDIA PITCH

One of the longest, most painful pitches in the history of long and painful media pitches. The eight-month long saga tied MindShare, OMD and Zenith in knots as Sony tried to decide what exactly it was looking for. In the event, OMD claimed the £200 million media prize. But since OMD already had the Sony electronics business, the only real change in the UK was the shift of the music and entertainment account out of Zenith. Still, the media auditors did well out of it all.

8. GARRY LACE'S TAILOR

No ... not what you're thinking. Cutting a jacket that can hold the well-stuffed wallet of the newly appointed (and extremely highly paid, if rumours are to be believed) chief executive of Grey without allowing any unsightly bulges is a challenge for even the most skilled atelier.

9. ANYONE WHO EVER WORKED ON ITV DIGITAL

The most shameful saga in the industry this year has to be the shabby demise of ITV Digital in May. Carlton and Granada ploughed more than £1 billion into this digital fiasco. A succession of mistakes, culminating in buying Football League rights for four times their real value, turned the venture into a shambles for all concerned. Indeed, the only good thing about it were the ads (but have you ever heard the one about polishing and turds?).

10. ANY AGENCY HR PERSONNEL

For the second year running, the ad agency HR department was an industrious but depressing place to be. As redundancies kept on coming, HR teams were, sadly, the busiest departments in adland.

This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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