Learning to Sell Themselves

cp+b intern auctionAre you looking for a little help from a world-class ad agency -- on the cheap? Well, friend, that's what Ebay is for. Crispin Porter + Bogusky is selling the services of its 40 interns on the online auction block. And the money goes to a good cause: the indentured servants of the corporate world, the interns themselves. They'll likely blow it on pizza, or pop, or beer, or fancy leather pants, or whatever it is kids in Miami and Boulder blow money on these days.

CP+B, the viral brains behind "Subservient Chicken" and "Whopper Sacrifice," can't seem to do a simple thing -- like, say, have some college kids around the office to fetch coffee -- without setting off a mini-social media maelstrom. The interns will work on the winning bidder's project during their three-month stint at CP+B, and deliver a creative presentation at the end of the summer, according to the auction page on eBay. "No production services or finished advertising materials will be provided."

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Bidding started at $1 Monday morning when Alex Bogusky (@bogusky) tweeted the following: "We're auctioning off our intern's brilliant minds this summer. They get all the money so bid early and often. http://tinyurl.com/p6s8do" and by 2 p.m. bidding was up to $1,000. By the evening the price was up over $2,025.

The most surprising development to come out of this may be in fact that Bogusky actually replied to a tweet (a rare occurrence indeed) when a kid asked that if he won the auction could he be an intern (interesting strategy -- offering to pay to work for free).

In actuality, interns for CP+B do more than get coffee and get paid minimum wage, so the eBay action money could provide a nice little extra scratch at the end of the summer. Bogusky tells Online Media Daily: "I hope it goes for at least 40k so each of the interns gets a thousand-dollar bonus."

But still, in the teeth of a recession, buying the company's young grunts could pan out nicely for an enterprising sort looking to stretch his marketing budget. "It's a difficult program to get into," Bogusky assures us, "so somebody will get a great value for sure."

The good word on the auction spread through Twitter (and the ensuing chatter on the Interwebs) like your proverbial wildfire, and is probably the best use of the microblogging service since, well, that guy who tried to get Bogusky and Jeff Benjamin to hire him via Twitter

Bogusky is a bit fuzzy on how the whole auction intern thing started. "I thought it was my idea," he says. "But I heard from one of last year's interns that they suggested it, so maybe I stole the idea from them. Who knows?" He is, however, pretty clear on his affinity for eBay: "I've bought everything from pick-up trucks to belt buckles on Ebay. I love it."

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