JEFF SHATTUCK MUSIC

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A new advertising agency is born! (warning: off topic, mostly)

Today, I read about a new ad agency called Victor & Spoils. To me, they are the lowest of the low in an industry capable of deep lowness.

In short, V&S claims to be "the world’s first creative (ad) agency built on crowdsourcing principles". Translation:

Rather than hire people and pay them a wage, V&S will offer a chance to some lucky few to donate their ideas to V&S's clients (even to V&S itself). If V&S decides a donated idea is good, they will pay for it, but the amount is solely at their discretion.

In other words, their client could be Coke and you could contribute the new tag line, and for your efforts be paid a penny and you would have no legal recourse to seek more. Worse, when they "buy" your idea, they own it, totally. They can change it however they wish and they are protected from ever having to pay you a dime more. Don't believe me? Here's the V&S contract.

One of the legal terms used in V&S's contract is "work for hire". I'm familiar with this because I use it myself, as does everyone else in the music biz. Record companies LOVE WFH because it means they can hire a guitar player to come in and play on a song and even if he contributes the riff that makes the song, they owe him nothing more than his fee. It's fair, to be honest, if not exactly cool. V&S, on the other hand, goes WFH one better: under the guise of "crowdsourcing" they will source 1000 guitar players and be under no obligation to pay any of them, and if they do end up having to pay because some lone axman delivered the goods, the fee can be as little as a penny (maybe less, I need to read the US contract, but I can't bring myself to).

Am I overreacting? I don't think so, but if someone out there can put a positive spin on V&S, I would like to hear it.

Oh, and icing on the cake: they moderate comments! Unbelievable.