Just FYI, an L.A. Ad-Tech Company Holds Kitten Races in Its Offices

This Really Escalates the Work-Perks Arms Competition

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UPDATE!: SocialVibe will be live-streaming the Kitten Race finals at 3 p.m. ET/noon PT on Friday, March 29 at socialvibe.com/kittenraces. Four kittens -- Fifi, Shadow, Pepe and Flash -- will race (more or less) in a benefit for the L.A.-based non-profit group Kitten Rescue.

Late last night I spotted a photo titled "So we held kitten races today at the office" (that's it on the left) on image-sharing site Imgur, via Reddit.

Naturally, my head just about exploded from the sheer cuteness of it. And from jealousy. (No office I've ever worked in has staged kitten races, which is just totally unfair.) A little digging through the comments on the image revealed that the office in question is the Los Angeles headquarters of ad-technology firm SocialVibe, which my colleagues have covered quite a bit.

Tech companies are, of course, famous for creature comforts -- from ping-pong tables to free snacks and drinks (e.g., all-you-can-mooch Sun Chips and Smart Water) -- but, geez, this really escalates the battle for office-perks bragging rights. (Kidding aside, it does say something about the office culture at SocialVibe. The staging area for the kitten races, by the way, was SocialVibe's fake putting green.)

I reached out to SocialVibe Director of Marketing Communications Tiffany Leslie, who explained that employee Tamara Struminger temporarily cares for abandoned kittens until they can find homes. She occasionally brings them in to work, which means "everyone gets to hold kittens at their desks, and every year we hold the kitten races," she said.

The first photo is by Daniel Chon, a data analyst, while the other two -- released to the public for the first time here on AdAge.com -- were taken by Erin Mayo, biz-dev director; both kindly gave us their permission to share these photos with you.

Oh, also: Leslie pointed out that the kitten race "was just a prelim. We're having a real race on Friday." Stay tuned!

Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" columnist for Advertising Age. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.

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