SXSW, the annual vanity carnival of schmoozing, marketing superficiality and barbecues, has something new to offer Austin’s visitors: unalloyed human degradation. A New York ad firm has converted homeless people into 4G hotspots.
While the firm behind the stunt, BBH, was quick to defend the horrendous exploitation, FWD reports:
“The worry is that these people are suddenly just hardware,” [BBH] said, “but frankly, I wouldn’t have done this if i didn’t believe otherwise,” [BBH] added, “we’re very open to this criticism.”
Lucky to be "open to criticism", because that's all the "campaign" has turned up. Although this is ostensibly about giving the homeless money -- BBH says they keep all the proceeds from those who pay for 4G access -- it's categorically awful, and all for the convenience of SXSW's widely well-off patrons.
But it gives the homeless jobs! Yes, as would using them as human coffee tables, or hunting them as game, or having them dance for nickels in Superman outfits at your next dinner party. Working as hotspot is worse than not working at all. [FWD]
Image: Hardly Normal