This is a scrap of writing I recovered from a previous project I’ve since called the “datayodeler” project. It has been restored here as part of an effort to unify more of my writing in a single place for deeper enjoyment. I’ve shelved it (for now…) Enjoy.
“What does THAT mean?” Beth had clearly been taken aback by the email, sarcasm and frustration now unmasked in her tone. “Are they looking for more shots of you with a wad of chewing gum in your mouth? I thought we were trying to avoid coming off as leashed by Cheeky?”
“It says…” I cleared my throat. “The pics need more acknowledgment of sponsorship or the project will be in breach of contract.” I read the email aloud to the team one more time. “I… I’m not sure what more they want. Does the contract say?”
“It doesn’t.” Shen-Li said. “Or, it says only as much as that email says. It’s completely obtuse, if you ask me.”
“Let’s step back a second, here.” I said. “Just how many photos do we have with something Cheeky in frame? Logo? Package?” I looked up at Beth. “Wad?”
“Too many would be a little lacking in style, wouldn’t it?” Beth’s reply had been quick and adamant. I said nothing and waited a beat. She added. “Of course, some. But not all. A dozen, maybe.”
Nick spoke up without looking up from his screen. “I agree. Too much. Too lame.” He’d been busy the last few days setting up and populating accounts, feed, and groups with whoever would give him free access. So, everyone: Facebook, Twitter, Lifestream, Friendster, whoever. He was standing back with his arms crossed. “We’ll shill and shrivel before we get our first paychecks.”
“But what did we agree to?” I asked. “What does the contract say?”
Shen-Li said. “We’re sponsored by Cheeky. No one here is so naive as to think this isn’t an advertising gig.”
Beth seemed a little put out. “But we need creative control, no? I refuse to take responsibility if we shill to Cheeky and this completely flops.”
“Alright, everyone. Deep breath.” I said, earning me pointed looks from all. “Let’s think like a Cheeky marketing executive. We’ve just handed over a lump of cash to a group of urban geeks to create a gush of information relating to one-of-said geeks’ life. How much do we consider fair publicity before we call in the lawyers to reclaim the money?”
“Ten percent.” Nick said without hesitation.
“Twelve.” Jas added from across the small room.
“This is pointless.” Beth shook her head in disgust. “We’re just guessing now? If we bend on day five we’re going to be bending even further on day ten. And by day fifteen this is going to be a footnote in my history.”
Had I known then what I know now, I would have been less hurried to make the compromise we did with Cheeky. Beth, the artist, the visionary, the stalwart soul among us, turned out to be wrong. But not by much.