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Bum-vertising

ABC News reports on a rediscovered advertising synergy:

    A budding Seattle entrepreneur looking for a low-cost marketing campaign says he's found an inexpensive and highly visible tool to publicize his Web site — he calls it "bum-vertizing." Ben Rogovy, a 22-year-old University of Washington graduate, says the homeless and panhandlers are an untapped labor force, and he's putting them to work.

    "It dawned on me this could be inexpensive and effective," he said. And he believes it's a campaign that benefits both him and the homeless people he's hired to hold signs advertizing his Web site. He said he's giving panhandlers a job and getting advertising on the cheap.

    But the name he has trademarked for his marketing campaign, "bum-vertising," has some advocates for the homeless taking notice of what they say is exploitation of the people Rogovy calls his employees.
The advocates have a point. Advertising may well be a cut below panhandling on the dignity scale (see Butthead Redefined). But, somehow "economically-disadvantaged-vertising" just doesn't have quite the same ring.

And, besides, it's not really a new idea:

— Larry, Attack Monkey, Light Reading

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