Homeless Man Panhandles the Internet

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Is this exploitation or genuine concern?  37 year old homeless man Tim Edwards has roamed the streets of Houston for the past five years.

Sean Dolan and his father Kevin saw an opportunity, and 'hired' Tim to be a part of their new website Pimp This Bum, soliciting donations for him.  People can donate everything from food to a college education, and Tim receives $100 a day from the Dolans. 

According to the Dolans, all proceeds from the website go directly to Tim.  So why are they doing this?

Their theory is if they can make Edwards popular, they can make anything or anyone popular, a bankable skill to attract big businesses.

"Take a homeless guy on the side of the street that has a sign, 'I should have used Monster.com,' and Monster. com just turned (someone) into a walking billboard," Sean Dolan said.

Link - via ascendgence

From the Upcoming ueue, submitted by \'\' Geekazoid.


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This innovative entrepreneur (read: scumbag) seems to be underestimating the ethics of the consumers that these bum-vertisments would supposedly target.
If I ever saw this where I live I would immediately boycott whatever business was vile enough to do such a thing.
It doesn't matter if they get paid or not, it's a matter of respect to these homeless individuals (sure I understand there is a point where you stomach growling takes precedence over your pride, but that is their choice). So what if they have $100 dollars a day, they still don't have a roof over their heads or a clean change of clothes.
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This idea isn't new. There was an issue last year on the Torontoist.com blog regarding a guy with a business called 'Bumvertising'. The ethics involved were questionable regarding it with how much these people were actually receiving for being a human billboard, but marketing folk can see things like this as an untapped resource. This guy getting $100/day plus food and clothing sounds like a good deal, and I hope he puts it to good use to get his life on track... that is if this doesn't just turn out to be a marketing gimmick.
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