It takes some doing to turn heads amid the media circus that is South by Southwest, but marketing firm BBH just that by transforming homeless guys into walking 4G WiFi hotspots. Promoters say the stunt is meant to bring the plight of the homeless to light, but there are also questions about whether or not the contractors are being exploited.
CNNMoney reports marketing firm BBH is paying its homeless contractors to stay equipped with WiFi hotspot gear outside an Austin convention center, wearing shirts that tell passers by how to log on for a suggested donation of $2 per 15 minutes.
Some are deriding the project for making a spectacle of a downtrodden portion of the populace. The firm claims to be doing right by its contractors financially, insisting it’s letting its contractors keep all the proceeds. Said one of the participants, “They’re giving us the opportunity to work. You’re providing a service for the public. It’s like an individual business.”
Turning the homeless into 4G hotspots [CNNMoney]