“I can’t believe I’m talking to you again” – Lamar ad exec explains the ad industry’s biggest challenge
Posted On June 19, 2021
The ad industry is reeling from a series of scandals involving high-ranking executives and executives with deep ties to companies and industries they work for.
The latest is the recent resignation of the head of the U.S. office of Lamar, the biggest ad agency in the world.
Lamar, which owns a wide range of companies including Nike, Frito-Lay and Kraft, announced on Monday that James Lamar resigned as chief executive of the agency, effective March 31.
Lamar, a former chief executive at General Motors and the United Kingdom’s Royal Mail, was also on the board of directors of the global agency, which is also home to the Lamar Group, a multinational holding company.
Its biggest clients are multinational corporations such as Coca-Cola and Dow Chemical, but the agency also works with other companies including the NFL’s Washington Redskins and the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers.
Lamar has been under fire since the start of the year when it emerged that former Lamar executives were involved in a series and secret deals with foreign governments.
According to a report by Reuters, Lamar’s former chief of staff, Michael S. Poulson, had told a friend, David O’Brien, that Lamar was “on the hook” for $3 million in payments made to governments and international organizations.
Lambar said it was the most serious breach of its ethics policies in its history and would be cooperating with authorities.
Lampre was one of the companies that was accused of paying bribes to Chinese officials, and Lamar has since paid more than $1.7 billion to settle bribery cases involving its clients.