AUSTIN, TX.(AP) - A marketing stunt that paid homeless people to carry Wi-Fi signals during the South By Southwest Conference in Austin, Texas, is drawing widespread criticism.
BBH Labs, a unit of the global marketing agency BBH, gave 14 people from a homeless shelter mobile Wi-Fi devices and T-shirts that announced "I am a 4G Hotspot."
BBH New York chairwoman Emma Cookson says the company paid them a minimum of $50 a day. She called the experiment a modernized version of homeless selling street newspapers.
But many have called the program exploitive. Wired.com wrote that it "sounds like something out of a darkly satirical science-fiction dystopia." ReadWriteWeb called it a "blunt display of unselfconscious gall."
The experiment was meant to begin last Friday but rain delayed its implementation until Sunday. It stopped Monday.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
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