Raising funds is a tough business. Some sell cheese rolls. Some sell sausages in bread. But TBWA's Tara McKenty and Iain Nealie have taken an altogether different approach: they're selling themselves – or, at least, their future – in the form of made-up stocks. It's a novel fundraising scam with a simple goal (and quite a few "completely fabricated statistics"): the pair, affectionately known as Agency Plankton, and fresh out of ad school, are desperate to get to the Cannes Advertising festival. But they need some financial assistance from a range of philanthropic creative patrons to do it.
"It's a pilgrimage of biblical proportions for two microscopic creatives. And we want to be there," the IPO (Initial Plankton Offering) document states. "We're selling shares in us. In who we are and what we stand for. We've taken the term 'trading futures' literally and now you can invest in our future."
The issue of 1000 shares of 'preferred' fictional stock in Plankton was released last week. And the pair already have the backing of some high-profile underwriters, otherwise known as Blood, Walden, Arlove & Partners.
According to the IPO: "The issuing price is expected to be near NZ$10 per share. With the equity release pertaining to 5% of the company, valuing the estimated future earnings of 'Plankton' at a very modest $2,000,000*. The services of 'Plankton', providers of world leading viral videos, blogs, ideas, concepts, ideologies and video games are expected to be in heavy demand for the foreseeable future. It is predicted that the stock will see continuous growth."
A warning for Mum and Dad investors, however: profits distributed by the company "will solely be at Plankton's discretion (ie never)". So it would probably be unwise to hand over your nest egg. But if you're feeling generous, the pair have promised not to shield the assets of their failed company and stay in a $4000 night luxury retreats.
For purchase options and more information on the Plankton prospectus click here.