When I get my first royalty check, I'm going to buy an iPhone 4 and be free of all this pettiness. Sure, my every heartbeat will be recorded, and the satellites will triangulate my position on the earth at all times, but I’ll be invisible by merit of sheer volume, unimportant and unobtrusive.

Of course that facade will fall away as the the money keeps rolling in, but by then I’ll be so glaringly visible that I’ll be able to hide behind the sycophancy like a dazzling shield. Until then it’s the highwire act over a dizzy angel dust haze of financial insecurity. My uninvited audience of technology oligarchs and hand-wringing statesmen watch me only through a darkened lens. Their expectations are understandably low.

JVC Kenwood Holdings’ local office is discreet, a black glass front and elegant white doors like a toothy smile. I set my rucksack on the metal detector’s conveyor belt, and step over to the main desk. The receptionist has dusky skin and a pleasant smile. She pulls a sign-in clipboard down from the back wall.

“I’m here to see Mr. Andrews,” I tell her. “One O’Clock.”

“Have you been here before?”

I tell her I haven’t, but that I hope to be back.

“I’ll need to print a pass for you. Stand on the cross and look into the camera please.”

She smirks when I pull my picture look, and after a moment hands me a warm laminate branded with the word GUEST, and waves me through the plastic gates beside the metal detectors. It’s a good thing too, because there are two combat knives attached to the lining of my suit jacket, and a syringe of strong barbiturates in my right sleeve.

Leo’s smaller than I thought he would be, and the boardroom has a much more limited view. A low-rung partner, but with some clout nonetheless.The room is appointed in a way that seems at least five years behind what I would expect, even given the shoddy status of his business. Another executive – a smarty dressed young lady with brown hair and a long face – stands up and shakes my hand, but doesn’t introduce herself. I take a comfortable seat, reeling a bit at the leather smell.

“Before we start,” Leo says, dismissing all formalities in the way that the most senior executive in a boardroom can. “I should tell you that we’ve checked your work out, and the results are impressive.”

He hasn't even asked me if I got her okay or if I'd like any refreshments. He might be sharper than his suit would suggest.

“I hoped you would. One of the conditions I usually ask my clients for is their co-operation in testimonials. Most people are very happy to oblige, and it seems a shame when they’re not called upon.”

“I’ve only just been brought in on this,” says the woman. “And I’m still getting familiar with the concept. Reading your literature, it seems like you advertise to...” She hits the ellipsis like a stunt car driver.

“Junkies, yes. The specifics can get a little muddled, but here’s the general overview: manufacturers of small, expensive and non-sentimental goods play a very defined role in the counterculture, which is to say on the streets. JVCKH, for example –“

“We’re still just JVC, at least internally,” Leo corrects me.

“Of course. JVC produces high quality electronics, which are more desirable than many other less expensive brands. The underworld is financially insular, in that it doesn’t have any banks, and almost all of its industry is segregated from the mainstream. Essentially there is a completely separate nation that exists in tandem with our own, and we’d be extremely narrow-minded to think there aren’t any trade routes.”

“That doesn’t really answer the question,” Leo says tersely, as if a question had been asked. I make a note to maybe follow him home later.

“The question concerns the bottom line,” the woman cuts in. “Your services come at quite a high price. What exactly is it that you’re proposing?”

Now, I don't have the luxury to pad my product with soft wrappings. When I first put my pitch together, I tried to mix the financial and ethical costs together, so that they could easily be placed on a conceptual scale that clearly illustrated the cost and the benefit. I fell flat on my face dozens of times before I realised that some things just stick out and overpower everything else. The general approach of salesmen is to released downsides in bite-size clusters to they hurt less, but I've found that I have to ramp up the momentum as soon as possible in order to make the single, daunting leap.

“We’re heavily involved in the junkie demographic,” These words have been carefully from a huge pool of failures. “Not only safe half-way houses and accoutrements like syringes, pipes and tinfoil, but also fashion wear utility clothing.”

They look at one another in the alarmed way I’ve come to expect. They brought up my successes themselves, and it was them who called me, so there is a reasonable possibility that they will hear me out. That's one of two reasons a company will agree to see me. The other is that they can't quite believe what I'm selling and they need me to explain myself in person.

“...fashion wear?” Leo asks from behind the blinking mask of his daze. They really like indirect questions in this place.

“Sure. That’s mostly for the second-tier audiences,” I tell him flatly, with a polite smile and a straight spine. Technical sounding terms juxtapose with the subject matter enough for the dirtiest bits to float by their reeling minds undetected. “By which I mean the dealers, the pimps, that sort of thing.”

“I have no idea where you’re going with this,” the smart lady tells me coldly.

There doesn't seem to be a phone on the long desk, and neither of them have brought mobiles. There seems to be no way for them to call security. “Every one of our items carries certain information about products like yours – how much a Blu-Ray player is worth on the black market, for instance, in both heroin and crystal, as well as monetary cost. The amount of street walking time that equates to the item’s value, essentially. They're like portable Rosetta stones; up to the minute statistics the target audience understands and cares about.”

“Why would we possibly want them to know that?”

Horror is normal. The air conditioner is humming contently, and outside in the hallway the usual level or work chatter is rumbling. And at least they're still talking. Generally if they have called security, everyone goes quiet.

That still might happen as I cross the finish line.

“Petty thefts for drug and vice related crimes make up an astonishing level of all anti-social behaviour. Break-ins and minor assaults are almost routine in some parts of big Western cities, with one in seven homes suffering an unlawful entry each year. One in seven. Do you know seven families? And that’s not just in the slums and the inner-cities, it takes into account every single home.

“If you are unfortunate enough to live right in the thick of things, the rate is significantly higher. Astronomically so if you happen to be black or brown. We can’t stop this crime: it’s been going on since the first metropolis. Government reports from the US, UK and Australia show that we can’t even slow it down –“

Leo closes his black folder and looks at me, ready to stand. If he does, it’s all over. “We can’t and won’t advocate theft or illegal activies.”

Sweat like slashes of hot mercury.

“I’m not asking you to advocate anything. I’m asking you to stop denying that these people – yes, junkies – exist, and to make an ethical choice to accept them, according to their own idiom. You don’t have to help them and you don't have to like them. All they want is to be free to make bad choices. Everyone deserves that right. Most importantly, I’m offering you the chance to cash in on a massive, almost untapped resource.”

“Crime and drugs?” says the woman. I can hear the scorn, but it’s less fiery that I would have expected. “Prostitution?”

“Precisely. Without breaking any laws.”

The silence rushes past my ears like a plunge into dark water.

“How will we profit?”

I've never gotten this far before. My head is spinning like a mescaline carousel, the words jibber out in machine gun stutters.

“By diversifying your market. A junkie illegally breaks into a property that doesn’t belong to him. It’s tragic and regrettable, but as I’ve said it happens hundreds of times every day. Maybe the family are home. Maybe he’s in withdrawal, or just too far gone to care. It doesn't matter - his whole culture is emblazoned with iconic, valuable, replaceable goods. So instead of hurting or threatening anyone, he grabs the top-end DVD player and runs off into the night. The crime is streamlined into a succinct, painless event.”

“The family claims on their insurance, and replace their unit with a new, more expensive one,” Leo chimes in.

“Right. And whoever ends up buying the unit – at stolen prices – would never have bought a legal one anyway. Hence the market diversity.”

"Wouldn't it be better if no one broke in anywhere?" The woman is not impressed. Like many female executives who don't want to be judges or even coloured by sexuality, the mention of prostitution has turned her off completely.

"Yes, much better." This is an argument easily disabled. "And one day that will be the case. As mentioned in my literature, part of my profits go to charities who are working together to prevent anyone from ending up int he sort of horrible situation we can only image. But it's a whole world down there, any for reasons I barely understand, many of the people in it want to stay where they are. What I'm offering is as close as they'll ever get to what we understand is advertising."

We sit in silence for a moment. I bask in the feel of cool, almost-fresh air on my face.

“This is massively unsavoury,” Leo says at last.

In any other deal, I would start relaxing about now. When the client starts to try and talk themselves down, you're on to a winner.

“More JVC units will be stolen than other brands,” adds the woman. “It may put off casual buyers.”

“On the contrary, we’ve found it improves consumer product perception.” This one I’ve rehearsed in front of the mirror a million times. “It all comes down to marketing: JVC is the best, even junkies know it. I mean, that's the message, not the campaign.”

“I take it you’re discreet about this? Obviously with the economic slump we’re willing to try obscure strategies, but it must be invisible to the public eye.”

“I’m a guerrilla marketeer, Leo. I only do invisible.”

“You’ve given us a lot to think about.”

They both shake my hand before I leave. I keep my HTC Hero on for the call. One day soon it'll be part exchanged.