An employee at Sherwin-Williams in Athens, Ohio, has been fired by employees after they accused him of wasting on the clock hours by creating paint-mixing TikTok videos.
Tony Piloseno, a senior at the University of Ohio, has been running a popular paint-mixing TikTok account, where his clips earn millions of views.
After three years of working for the company, and sharing his super satisfying videos, Tony has revealed he’s been fired from Sherwin-Williams after the company came across his videos.
The student had taken advantage of TikTok users enjoying other paint-mixing accounts, ran by hardware stores, and thought he would try it out himself. He believed it to be a great “marketing opportunity” for the company, as it would engage a younger audience.
However, Sherwin-Williams has accused Tony of wasting on the clock hours and he’s been fired from the job he truly enjoyed.
@tonesterpaintswhat color should i do next? ##paintmixing ##satisfying ##tropical ##teal ##GrowUpWithMe ##colorcreators ##fyp♬ Seve – Tez Cadey
It wasn’t until December 2019 that the student began to share videos onto TikTok but it wasn’t long before they became a hit with viewers. Initially, he began by just sharing paint-mixing videos that were designed for customers. Yet as his popularity grew, he used his employee discount to mix specifically for his channel.
Seeing the results on his TikTok page, Tony tried pitching the idea to managers and a sales representative at the store. He stressed how it would engage a younger audience and is a modern marketing approach to use the social media platform.
The sales representative “loved” the idea and suggested he reach out to the marketing department of the company’s headquarters.
He said: “I emailed [the marketing contact] about two or three times, I even reached out to him on LinkedIn. It took two months to get a response from him.
“He basically told me that there wasn’t really any promotions going on so there wasn’t a need to see the presentation.”
Although initially presuming his idea had just been brushed aside, Tony was dismayed to find that he was then fired from his job.
In his termination papers, he was accused of using TikTok for paint-mixing videos during “working hours and sometimes after work”, as well as “wasting properties [and] facilities”. Astonishingly, it was actually stated that his work was “seriously embarass[ing]” for the company’s products.
The letter read: “At times in making the videos, you used company tint machines while both on the clock/and off the clock for your personal use.
“Upon conclusion of our investigation, it has been determined you are in violation of several gross misconduct policies.”
A spokesperson from Sherwin-Williams told BuzzFeed News that the firing had come following a “customer complaint”.
@tonesterpaintsName the color for me ##paintmixing ##exprESSIEyourself ##satisfying ##popsmoke ##rewindit ##MicellarRewind ##art ##happylife♬ Slide (Remix) (feat. Pop Smoke, A Boogie Wit da Hoodie & Chris Brown) – H.E.R.
According to the spokesperson, the company had received several enquiries after Tony had shared a paint-mixing video in which he mixed blueberries into the paint. An investigation was then conducted.
Tony said: “They first accused me of stealing — I told them I purchased all my paint.
“They made me answer a bunch of questions like when I was doing this, where, if there was anyone in the store while I was doing [filming]. There was never anyone with me while I doing it.”
@tonesterpaintshighly requested ✨ ##paintcolors ##paint ##mixingpaint♬ original sound – DeXter
The student has been left frustrated, as he feels he was never given the opportunity to tell his “side of the story”. However, he’s received plenty of support from his fans.
One person wrote: “They FIRED YOU?? It’s 2020 and companies still don’t understand the benefit of digital/social marketing.”
Thankfully, Tony is still sharing paint-mixing videos. Only now, it’s in his friend’s basement and in addition to mixing traditional colours, he uses maple syrup, glitter, glow stick liquid, instant coffee, raspberries, beer, vodka, cranberry juice and bath beads.