Ad Agency At SXSW Conference Using Homeless People As Mobile Hotspots

Could this be our national solution to unemployment? Quite possibly. An advertising agency is equipping homeless people to become mobile hotspots. No, not converting people on the streets into individualized Inspector Gadgets. Giving them portable mifi devices as a “modern take on street newspapers.”

Bartle Bogle Hegarty, the ad agency in question, brought up this initiative at the SXSW conference, explaining that this plan will charge members of the public $2 for 15 minutes of access to the internet.

A blog update by BBH’s skunkworks unit noted that “there’s an insane amount of chatter about this, which although certainly villainises us, in many ways is good for the homeless people we’re trying to help”…

“The model isn’t inherently broken, It’s simply the output that’s archaic in the smartphone age,” it reasoned.

Instead it proposed users buy 4G net access from a homeless person, spending what they wanted via a Paypal link so that the firm could track finances. It described the move as a “beta test” which might later be “adopted on a broader scale”.

There have obviously been some critiques of the plan, including from one user who complained that “my homeless hotspot keeps wandering out of range.” But some are arguing this gives people an opportunity to engage with members of the homeless community and “give [people] a different perception of what homelessness is right.”

Watch Fox News’ coverage of this truly unique job creation below:

Have a tip we should know?

  1. Mediaite
  2. The Mary Sue
  3. RunwayRiot
  4. LawNewz
  5. Gossip Cop