Independent agency auctions Super Bowl ad on eBay

NEW YORK - An independent advertising agency has come up with an innovative way to win new clients -- by auctioning its services on eBay to devise a 'creatively brilliant' commercial to be screened during the Super Bowl.

The North Carolina-based agency, Boone/Oakley, appears to be on to a winning idea with bidding already reaching $334,435 (£199,973) for the eBay auction, with another four days remaining until bidding closes.

David Oakley, creative director of the agency, said: "Out of control. That's probably the best way to describe the response to the offer. We've had a ton of bidding and 20,000 unique hits to the eBay site. It certainly has created a stir."

The agency is selling it as a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" to be the first company in history to bid on a Super Bowl ad on eBay. It is also offering a guarantee of money back if the winning company produces one of Boone/Oakley's commercial ideas to run during the Super Bowl and it gets ranked in the Top 10 Spots of the Super Bowl list, compiled by the newspaper USA Today.

The annual Super Bowl is one of the biggest events of the US advertising year, with many advertisers creating one-off executions for the broadcast or using it to launch new campaigns.

The winner of the auction will receive three creative ideas from the agency, but the bid does not include production or media costs. There have already been 130 bids, although the agency does request that only people who are authorised representatives of potential advertisers make bids.

According to the agency's website, Boone/Oakley was founded in 2000 by John Boone, an art director who has worked with J Walter Thompson, DMB&B and Fahlgren/Martin, and Oakley, a copywriter who began his career at Young & Rubicam in New York and who has also worked at TBWA in New York and at The Martin Agency.

The agency's current clients include MTV, NASCAR, Sci-Fi Channel and Paramount Parks.

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