Xia Cheng had originally been promoted due to his beautiful result during internal assessment. Even though his speed of promotion had been like a rocket, he had no powerful allies inside the company.
The new representative was different; the man had personally been appointed by Lin Chen. Before this, he had stayed by Lin Chen's side as his personal assistant; he was Lin Chen's right-hand man. Now that he was shifted to this new post, even if his job scope was different, the whole company would still give him face due to his close relationship with the boss.
"Just now Xia Cheng told me he wanted to discuss an endorsement deal with me." After hearing the latest internal movement at Tian Wang Media, Rong Su sounded startled, and she looked like she just remembered something. "I thought that was strange because endorsement deals are normally discussed by the sponsor and not the representative from a media company… Now that I think about it, is he trying to take advantage of me?"
"This is not taking advantage of you," Su Zheng argued. "This is plain bribery."
Rong Su was stunned.
"Originally, Xia Cheng should only have planned to build a good relationship with you, Rong Su, or to curry favor with you, but he had to try to make it look like he is not that materialistic and that the relationship was built on equality… Er, thank you." Ye Shuang paused to thank the waitress to serve the drinks. Ye Shuang bit on the straw and then continued. "But now, Xia Cheng is not in as good a position as before, so he is being pushed.
"Since he has been unable to get closer to you in a roundabout way… this time, he didn't even hide his intention anymore and openly offered an exchange of profit. If Xiao Su really agrees to accept the endorsement, he would get you the deal, but after enjoying the benefit, then will come the time for you to repay him."
"What kind of good deal would he have?" Mo Xiao Xia also bit on the straw. "Now Xia Cheng has lost his voice at Tian Wang. What kind of good resources will he have left‽"
"That's not entirely true," Su Zheng replied, not wanting to be overshadowed. "Xia Cheng is not what he appears,; even though he has lost the connection at Tian Wang, don't you forget about why he managed to climb up so fast the ladder at Tian Wang."
Mo Xiao Xia and Rong Su were curious, and they both turned to this topic. "Huh, why?"
Oops, forgot these two have not heard about Xia Cheng's legendary journey of promotion…
Ye Shuang looked on with a smile as Su Zheng was surrounded by the two girls. In reality, even though Su Zheng did know some insider information, not everything could be shared with the public. Therefore, she only leaked some information, but this left a lot of gaps in the story, which only made the girls more curious.
After a while, just as the girls' imaginations were running wild, Ye Shuang saw Xia Cheng walk around the corner. She coughed to inform the girls that he had arrived. She meant for them to change the topic and stop talking about him. Su Zheng quickly changed the topic to talk about the latest series by a female designer. When Xia Cheng reached their table, that was what he heard.
"I'm sorry, I hope I didn't break up the discussion." Xia Cheng's gait was light. Even though his face still possessed that polite smile, it did nothing to hide the paleness underneath. It looked like the medical laxative did take a huge toll on the man. He took the side amid the group of girls, and Xia Cheng naturally turned to smile at Rong Su. "I heard you girls seem to be talking about female fashion. It just so happens that I was talking to Miss Rong earlier about an endorsement. Miss Rong, have you heard about the brand called LPA?"
"LPA is a French female fashion brand. It's established in 1933 in Paris. It's a hallmark brand that is beloved by female customers."
After the day of shopping, without even contacting Ol' K, Su Zheng managed to pull out so much information. It looked like she had been eager to reveal all that earlier. "Of course, compared to Chanel, LPA is still lacking, but it has a place of its own among the middle-class market. If anything, since it's not that high-end, the market is even bigger than Chanel's."
Many middle and small cities would not have branded shops, but these pedestrian brands would be present. Their presence was something that was not comparable to top brands. For example, between foie gras and Burger King, which one was classier? Definitely the former. But when talking about which was more ubiquitous, then it was definitely the latter.
However, compared to the more local brand, LPA's price range was not something that was acceptable to normal working class. One skirt might reach into thousands, and even though it would not reach into tens of thousands like a Chanel, the price tag would still not be acceptable for normal mothers and aunties. Based on that, the brand's class and endorsement could be guaranteed.
"A big brand with such a high endorsement fee, I can't help but feel something is not right." As Ye Shuang drove, she speculated, "Normally, if it's such a famous brand, shouldn't it have a lower endorsement fee?"
Furthermore, the endorsement celebrity was Rong Su, someone who had just started in the business. If it was someone like Luo Mingxin, then it would be understandable. The contract given by Xia Cheng earlier was clearly suspicious.
With Rong Su's current identity, if she signed the contract, then she would gain all the benefits, and the sponsor would not get anything. This was something that Ye Shuang knew after she got familiar with Luo Mingxin—even sponsors had a difference in standard. For example, McDonald's and Coke could normally choose famous singers while other off-brand product would go for C-list celebrities.
If it was really a global brand or a luxury brand that was at the top of its field, the cooperative partner could only be the leading celebrity from their field. The marketing of a product was very important. The clothes that one bought from a local mall and a shirt one bought with 300,000, could they be represented by the same celebrity?
Therefore, the more branded something was, the lower the endorsement deal.
If endorsement for snacks would lower the celebrity's standard because it was exhausting the celebrity's name, then endorsement from Chanel would help raise the celebrity's standard. Who was taking advantage of whom would be clear as day.
"Sister Shuang means…" Su Zheng's eyes glowed, and she started to wonder. "Could it be that LPA has been infiltrated by that organization as well?"
This person sure had a wild imagination, and Ye Shuang could not resist the urge to roll her eyes. "That might not be necessarily true. There are other ways to form connections. For example, bribery, or perhaps the organization managed to catch the weakness of one of LPA's higher ups. Anyway, since they're walking the illegal path, having some less than open channel is something normal."
Not only were Ye Shuang and Su Zheng discussing this, even Rong Su and Mo Xiao Xia had questions of their own. Probably because they came from the same circle and both had similar backgrounds, ever since Rong Su got to know Mo Xiao Xia, their relationship had naturally become closer and closer.
In a few days, they had become best friends. What Ye Shuang and Su Zheng thought was weird was that these two in the entertainment business felt it more acutely. Even though Rong Su was surprised that she would have the chance to get such a valuable endorsement deal, at the same time, she could not help but be suspicious of it.
"My current fame shouldn't allow me to get a contract from LPA, right?" Rong Su and Mo Xiao Xia were at the latter's apartment. They had their heads lowered, watching the computer. They looked on the internet the identity of previous LPA endorsers, and after comparing them to her own career, Rong Su felt this whole thing was surreal.
If not for the fact that she knew that Xia Cheng probably would not come with a fake offer to toy with her, Rong Su would have interrogated the man.
"Should I ask around for you?" Mo Xiao Xia stared at her phone and bit on her finger. She looked conflicted. When Rong Su heard that, her conflicted feeling disappeared immediately. With a teasing look, she uttered in a strange voice, "Oh…"
Then, she even winked. "Are you going to ask Mr. Lin?"
Lin Yu pursuing Mo Xiao Xia was the latest news that had been circulating. Many people were making a bet on how long it would take for Lin Yu to win the girl's heart. Even though getting together and separating was common and not every couple would last, Mo Xiao Xia was not a normal star, and Lin Yu had a not-so-normal family background. Therefore, even if the relationship faded, Mo Xiao Xia's position would be guaranteed. On top of that, Lin Yu looked like he was serious. The news of him going out with models had stopped completely.
Mo Xiao Xia grabbed the pillow to start chasing Rong Su. Rong Su screamed as she made her escape. The two played for a while before collapsing on the bed. Then they opened the laptop and started to focus on the business. "For real, I would appreciate it if you would help me ask. See if Mr. Lin knows about this or not."
Mo Xiao Xia was loyal to her friends, so she pouted and grabbed her phone. Lin Yu managed to get two calls from Mo Xiao Xia in a day—even though they were for somebody else, he was still quite happy.
"Xia Cheng has an endorsement contract from LPA?" Lin Yu was silent before frowning and said, "I have to go and ask my brother about this, but our people have not worked together with LPA before, so my brother might not know anything about this."