Benjamin Rogovy of Bumvertising (a scheme to get the word out about Poker Face Book) appeared on the The Daily Show Tuesday night, which may be the best place for him, given the hard-to-take-serious nature of his enterprise.
Here’s some of his flimsy argument.
Bumvertising™ does not take advantage of beggars; it makes them more legitimate. Many homeless advocacy groups argue that Bumvertising™ is terrible for the homeless community at large. So far, their greatest complaints point to the use of the word ‘bum’, the theory that these individuals are being exploited, and the theory that Bumvertising™ contracts make it easier for a person to remain destitute.
Bumvertising™ very well might be exploitation. Instead of bums holding one sign, they are now holding two and getting paid more money, thus exploiting their own talents.
The important thing to remember is that these are individuals entitled to make their own lifestyle choices. The beggars that are able to sell their Bumvertising™ space are coherent, semi-responsible, and are often quite savvy in their own business world. They usually have a good claim on a corner, and understand the fundamentals of high volume, low conversion advertising. Unfortunately, due to alcoholism, drug abuse, and mental illness many of these people have no choice but to be independent contractors, since conventional employers would shy away from them.