The most dishonest document known to man is Campaign's agency school report form. These masterpieces of exaggeration, partial truth and deliberate misunderstanding are as misleading as pieces of paper can get.
The main source of the deception appears to be the declared billings section. Agencies that took the Michael include McCann-Erickson and Grey Worldwide, who declared billings that differed from their Nielsen Media Research figures by £195 million and £193 million respectively. To those other agencies that narrowly avoided being named and shamed, we say this - you know who you are!
Fortunately, for every George W Bush there's a George Washington waiting in the wings, and it was a pleasant surprise to discover that there are some genuinely good eggs out there that would sooner under-declare than mislead us. The humble outfits in question are Wieden & Kennedy, Leith and, of course, M&C Saatchi. Erm, hang on a minute. M&C? This has to be the first time Maurice and Charles have ever under-blown their own trumpets.
The part of the form that requested details of account wins also seemed to provide agencies with no end of difficulty. A lot of people in adland seem to think that the word "win" is interchangeable for the word "retain".
Many agencies would have us believe that they've recently won accounts that they've actually held for years. Very strange.
And no name-and-shame piece would be complete without mentioning those good folk at OgilvyOne who hold the distinct honour of being the only agency who failed to hand in a form. Yes, after three months of being asked, OgilvyOne failed to do what 83 agencies managed with comparative ease. Next year, instead of filling in a form, we'll be asking them to hit a cow's bum with a banjo.