At a tech startup convention/music festival/gaming expo known as SXSW, the marketing firm BBH shocked attendees with its latest marketing stunt– Homeless Hotspots. Thirteen homeless people are given a wireless internet hotspot device, a PayPal account, and t-shirts that say “I’m (name), a 4G hotspot.” For a donation to the individual’s PayPal account, users get unlimited access to the internet through that person’s hotspot.
This marketing stunt has generated very negative reactions in a short period of time. People have described the stunt as “dystopian”, and “scary”, however, BBH claims that they had nothing but good intentions, and partnered with a homeless advocacy group called Front Steps for the event. The idea behind this entire event was to use SXSW to help the homeless, giving them a chance to make money in a legitimate manner and allowing them to interact with people that would otherwise ignore them, as well as raising awareness of homelessness in America.