Wanted: dirt-cheap creative

Forbes_bus_2It’s bad enough that clients don’t pay the old 15 percent commission any more. But a party, gift certificate and dinner? Is that all the “most creative, eye-catching and dynamic advertisement” is worth these days?

Apparently so, at least in the eyes of Forbes.com, which e-mailed agencies in late October, offering barter in exchange for an online ad campaign to complement bus posters that boast, “More people get their business news from Forbes.com than any other source in the world.” And, by the way, no need to meet with client executives. Just mail (or e-mail) them your creative ideas. But remember, to qualify, get those world-altering ideas in by 11:59 p.m. EST on Dec. 1!

This week, Forbes.com was expected to name three “winners”: the Grand Prize winner (holiday party for up to 50 people, two $500 American Express gift cards and dinner for six at the “famous Forbes Townhouse”), First Place (two $200 gift cards) and Second Place (two $100 gift cards). But, to find out who won, you have to mail a self-addressed postcard to the client. Seriously. It’s spelled out in the contest’s official rules.

At least one recipient was so incredulous at the bar-lowering request for dirt-cheap creative that she wanted to fire off an op-ed piece. But AdFreak, in the spirit of the holiday season, offered to take on the job, pro-bono. Nope, there was no “Grand Prize” for best blog entry, either.

—Posted by Andrew McMains