Advertising Agency Sells Its Interns on eBay

By Staff Report

May. 19, 2009

We may be in a recession, but this year’s batch of interns at advertising agency Crispin Porter & Bogusky will be getting fatter paychecks.

Not that the agency itself will be funding the pay increases for the 40 young talents who will slog away in its Miami and Boulder, Colorado, offices on accounts such as “Guitar Hero” and Burger King.

Rather, Crispin has launched an eBay auction for their services.

On-again, off-again Twitterer and top Crispin creative executive Alex Bogusky (whose real handle is @bogusky, not to be confused with @bogusbogusky and @bogusalex) announced the auction Tuesday, May 19, via a tweet.

The bidding began at $1 and as of this report had already climbed to $1,225, with eight days and 22 hours remaining. (That’s more than $30 for each intern.)

The interns only make minimum wage, so we thought this would be a great way to augment that,” Bogusky said in an e-mail. “They’re excited about that.”

The winning bidder will receive a “creative presentation” developed by Crispin’s interns in a three-month period, consisting of strategies, recommended brand positioning and concepts.

What the bidder won’t get is production services or any finished advertising materials. Travel and any other out-of-pocket expenses for the interns aren’t included either.

It seems a bit counterintuitive to farm out your own talent, but Bogusky said he doesn’t really see it that way.

Each year, the interns work for Crispin clients, but a portion of their time is carved out to work on special assignments that are typically pro bono. Now they’ll just work on this instead.

“It would be great if the high bidder is a cause-related thing,” Bogusky said.

Who isn’t welcome?

The likes of Pizza Hut and Philip Morris. The fine print on the online auction page states that Crispin, which works for Domino’s, “reserves the right to decline services in the event of a conflict with any of our existing clients or for any other reason (like if you sell cigarettes) in our sole discretion.”

Filed by Rupal Parekh of Advertising Age, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail

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