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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Limited endorser idea

So I have thought about what it'd be like to be an actual celebrity, and maybe even do endorsement deals, but from what I've heard of those things, they mostly suck in my opinion, so getting ahead of the game--thinking positive--and putting up some ideas for what I might try when I become a celebrity.

And I call it being a limited endorser, and I'll use an actual company with which I have NO affiliation, as I'm just using them now, and think it's cool and that company is airbnb.com and I won't make that a link to their site, so as not to give the wrong idea. And I repeat I have NO affiliation with the company, so no way there is actually any kind of a deal in place, and besides, I'm not yet a celebrity.

So let's say the limited endorser deal allows a celebrity to tell good things they like about a company, without necessarily receiving compensation, but also allows them to say they are a limited endorser, so there is full disclosure.

Which means you can tell nice stories in public, like if some reporter is asking you a question, and you can say you use some particular company.

So like I might say, used this company a couple of times and they're cool.

The limited endorser contract can be terminated by either party at any time and for any reason and is legitimized at the start by a nominal consideration amount. (I'm tossing around nice sounding words to me but I'm not a lawyer, and do not mean to imply I am one. Nothing in this post should be construed as legal advice. And if despite all those warnings you find someone to try and come after me, you're an idiot.)

So how does money move?

Well, here's what I like and what I'm guessing others will hate, as the company being endorsed decides on a designated basis, say quarterly, if they are gaining a "material benefit" from the limited endorsement, and they decide how much that benefit is. If it is beyond a set minimum amount--like who cares about, say, $10--then they notify the limited endorser, as they are to pay a contractual amount, say, 10% of the benefit amount.

But here's where I add another twist, as the limited endorser submits a bid for what they believe the 10% amount is, and then payment is made for the lesser value, unless the bids differ by more than 10%, then the bids are to be justified by both parties and the proper amount is to be chosen by an independent arbitrator.

Notice I'm giving most of the power to the company and trusting them to give a fair value, while keeping the limited endorser responsible for keeping up with their own value to the company, with a dispute resolution vehicle in place, even though the entire point is to limit disputes!

IF the company says, no benefit over the designated amount and period then they pay NOTHING to the limited endorser.

And I love this idea. Why? Well I like lots of products and could maybe see myself wanting to admit it, without feeling like I need to sell my soul to some company which can tell me what to wear, where to go, what to drive, what to say, and all kinds of nasty things which ruin the fun, but they may feel protects them, especially if they spend a BOATLOAD of money upfront.

And that's enough so that I have the idea in place for something that may never happen. For instance, I need to be a celebrity. Then I'd need a horde of lawyers to try and type something up. And then I'd have to find a company that would want me as an endorser, who would accept such a contract!

(Notice that lawyers are the ones who really always win.)

But it doesn't hurt (I think) to put up some ideas on one of my personal blogs, which I can take down later if necessary and that's it.

Ideas are open source, so if others wish to try them, then feel free. I won't come after you.


James Harris
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