Grand Theft: Intellectual Property

Foreword: Please place your comment/advice hats on your heads. Thank you in advance.

Possible Scenario:

A well-known company has run out of ideas for marketing their new product line. This company posts a job listing seeking a Marketing Professional to develop and implement fresh marketing initiatives to raise awareness of their new product line among their target market.

The company interviews candidates for the position. Candidates are asked to draft a few original marketing initiatives to propose for consideration of employment. Upon submission of their original proposal, candidates are narrowed down to a select few. The remaining candidates are then asked to draft another proposal, only this time in a completely different arena, for instance, a highly technical proposal on Search Engine Optimization and various Key Word Providers. Some candidates comply, some candidates bow out of the competition.

Days go by.

None of the candidates ever hear from the company again.

Did this company hold ruse interviews to pick the brains of industry professionals, with no intention to hire, and every intention of obtaining free ideas and consultations from job-seeking professionals?


In hindsight, this seems like something that would be filed in the “oldest trick in the book” department, but I honesty can’t remember ever hearing of such a thing.

Has anyone ever heard of this before?

Wanted: Your Insight, Opinion or Input of any sort.

Suggested Points of Discussion:

As relating to this situation, what are the accepted reasonable and definable expectations of job candidates when qualifying themselves to a potential employer?

At what definable point does a candidate’s compliance with the interview process become “consultation”?

Are Intellectual Property laws applicable here?

Are there any definable and enforceable audits or other alternate measures in place to prevent employers from doing this at will?

Please, discuss. Comment link is under article header.


An Open Letter to Jeff Zucker and Maybe Les Moonves, Sometimes:

Dear NBC and maybe ABC, sometimes:

Do you remember the Replacement Baseball Player thing? You know, all the MLB players went on strike, so the league hired a bunch of other guys to play the regularly scheduled games while the league and the original players came to an agreement.

Is there, like, a Replacement Writer program available for the duration of the current writer strike? Because if there is, I’d really like a shot.

I promise to:

Not drink to excess between the hours of 9a-5p, EST.

Become a moldable tool, shaped and programmed to shamelessly promote General Electric partnerships and business opportunities every fucking chance I get. I swear to God, I will. My capacity as a sell-out is unrivaled.

Work for the half of the going rate.

Perform sexual favors for Jeff Zucker, or maybe Les Moonves, sometimes. Half the going rate, of course.

Leave my bloody fingernails tangled in the carpet as you attempt to drag me out when the original writers return.

Call me.