...will Advertise for Food !

The Seattle Times reports about a strange new form of advertising (via Adrants):
Homeless serving as billboards
Peter Schoeff, a 20-year-old homeless man, woke up in an abandoned house and planned to spend his day Dumpster diving and asking for spare change. "We dig in trash, but usually, you can't find anything good in the trash," he said. "Just half-eaten sandwiches, cold French fries, crumbs in a bag of chips."

So a slice of hot, fresh pizza dripping with cheese seemed like a good deal ? especially since all it required of him was holding a sign for about 40 minutes. The sign said: "Pizza Schmizza paid me to hold this sign instead of asking for money."

In what advertising industry watchers said is a first, a Portland pizza-by-the-slice company has hired homeless people off downtown sidewalks to take part in a guerrilla marketing campaign. They are paid in pizza, soda and a few dollars.(...)
First I thought, this must be a hoax. But apparently it is not !? At least it is more credible than the motives of the owner of this "caring" company. Of course, he only has the best interests of the homeless at heart:
"People don't have to feel guilty, while still appreciating the person is homeless. It's a gesture of kindness more than anything," said Jehan, sitting at an outdoor table at one of his downtown Portland restaurants. (...) The homeless were a new advertising vehicle ? and an opportunity to help, Jehan said. He's proud to see Pizza Schmizza's name associated with helping the homeless, he said.
Well, call me Old-Europe, but I hope, this is not becoming a big, new trend in Guerrilla-Marketing. It probably also doesn't have the desired effect. I could be wrong, but isn't such a "billboard" sending a message like "Hey, come to Pizza Schmizza - the supercool hangout for homeless people..."