Over two and a half years ago, I wrote a statement on Sockington selling out, where I basically said the following:
“I am not going to sell Socks out. Period. Drag your “proposal” or ‘touching base” or “big idea” or “possibility” to your trash icon, or I’ll kindly take the time to do it for you. The store is closed. It was never open.”
I also felt I had to clarify what “selling out” meant, and what I came up with was:
For me, “Selling Out” for something like Socks comes when the cat or myself are doing things we would never do on our own, and people give us money to convince us to do this. Oh, they may couch it as “paying for your time and effort” or “to help with your maintenance costs”, but it’s taking cash to do something otherwise never happening.
So in that spirit and knowing that, I will inform you I was contacted a month or two ago by a company that wanted me to sell Socks out. Do a promoted tweet, as they call it. As usual, I toy with these guys, so I needled them along and asked how much. $5000/tweet, they said.
Sockington (the actual grey cat) is now (we think) about seven. Penny (the actual orange cat) is now easily ten. Penny and Socks have both seen years of very nice health – no major issues, no overnight visits, you name it. They’re kept on a good diet and kept indoors and exercised and they’re in a rather beautiful home outside of Boston, a place of stairs to climb and rooms to run and general Cat Heaven.
But cats don’t live forever and let me tell you, being involved in the whole Sockington Twitter thing has told me an awful lot about how quickly things go with them. One day they’re purring in your lap and wondering when the next mealtime is, and the next day they’re very, very sadly meowing and you go to the Vet and the Vet suddenly drops in your lap some sort of terrible decision. And that decision is often one that, bluntly, translates to “For three thousand dollars, your cat will live for at least months and probably years, or we can kill it.”
So, call it the years piling on, but I had this rough idea in my head that it might be kind of sweet of Socks and Penny (and Tweetie, the third cat, who needed actual $1500 surgery a year or two ago) to have a couple tweets that ensured that the only decision in a future medical malady was how fast they could get back on their feet. Call it a wavering, a moment of weakness, maybe for some of you a “cold dose of reality”. But what the heck, it wouldn’t hurt to talk to these people.
It took a while, weeks really, but they eventually came back with actual things to sign. And, of course, because everyone in that sort of business is a bait-and-switch scumbag, it suddenly went from “$5000/tweet” to “$2500/two tweets”. And if that sounds awesome, it would be scripted by someone else, specifically to sell a product, a product that had nothing to do with cats.
Subsequently, I could see how this was going to go. With an Non-disclosure agreement attached, and more requirements than I could shake a stick at, it was going to be months of e-mails to get the actual money, money which, again, falls down into the “I sort of have access to that kind of money” level and which, like any such thing done, was a loss of principle and meaning in the name of some hocked-together justification. It’ll heal my cats!!!!!!!!
So while there was this tiny, tiny percentage of me going “hmm”, most of me got sickened by the entire enterprise within a day or two, and as the actual documents piled in, that pretty much settled it. So no, Socks continues to not push house cleaning products on his twitter feed. He continues to be a very strange, very odd little cat.
And as for my little bait-and-switch scumbag marketing guys, who wanted to make a cat tweet about some household product for a few bucks, and were willing to jerk me around for eyeballs? It turns out I don’t do that.
But what I will do is drop all the documents and contracts related to the deal.
So here we go, here’s everything they sent me.
- A W9 (Tax ID Number) request form, which is pretty standard, but still, it’s for a cat tweet.
- A Vendor Diversity form, in case there was a bonus diversity to the Sockington enterprise. like being a historically black college or if Socks lived in a generally downtrodden part of the countryside, just waiting to be lifted out of poverty.
- Finally, here’s what you probably want to actually read: Sponsored Social Media Agreement 04-27-12 - a word-compatible .doc file of the terms of two Sockington tweets to promote the product in question.
Oh, it’s all in there – the kind of stuff you sign your life away with as “talent” in a promotion, the willingness to get involved in secrecy, in acting like oh, one day Socks decided to start tweeting about some sort of product, in a way unlike himself, and right off to those delicious million eyeballs.
Somewhere down there is this line:
Talent agrees that if Talent commits a material breach of any provision of this Agreement or at any time fails or refuses to fulfill Talent’s obligations hereunder, then Marketer or Agency may terminate this Agreement and Talent will not be entitled to any compensation. Talent further agrees that if Talent should die, or fail to fulfill Talent’s obligations hereunder due to illness, injury or accident so that, in Marketer’s or Agency’s judgment, Talent’s disability will preclude Talent from rendering the Services described above, then Marketer or Agency may terminate this Agreement and Talent will not be entitled to any compensation.
Since I didn’t sign, and I have told you about it, I guess that constitutes a “material pre-breach”, where I’ve already taken a big ol’ dump on the whole prospect of the cat being turned into a mouthpiece for said products. Oh well. I’ll get over it.
Enjoy the glimpse into how bad it can get.
And I’ll pet Sockington for you.
Categorised as: jason his own self
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