August 15, 2012

The Ethics of Paying the Homeless to Be Signage

What if financial planning companies paid homeless people to wear custom-designed and branded t-shirts that said something like,

"If I had saved through Edward Jones, I wouldn't be here right now."

As a marketer, I loved this idea. As a human, I see it as borderline evil.

As a capitalist, I can see the win-win. The homeless guy has a job opportunity (despite it being demeaning, there aren't too many other viable options right now), and Edward Jones gets HUGE PR from it.

Plus, Edward Jones offers all of their new homeless workforce free job training/pre-professional education to mitigate the backlash.

I kind of think this should happen?