More Body Space Sells for Advertising


Kari Smith and her $10,000 tattoo. (GoldenPalace.com)
It's happened again: Another forehead has been auctioned online as space for a tattooed advertisement. And the tattoo is permanent.

Kari Smith, a 30-year-old Utah mother, offered her forehead as advertising space to the highest bidder at online auction site eBay. The bidding began June 21 and ended June 29, with online casino GoldenPalace.com winning the auction for $10,000.

 

"I think it's going to be a good thing," Smith said in an Associated Press news segment moments after getting the tattoo. "It's a positive thing." Smith said she auctioned her forehead to help fund her 11-year-old son's private education, which she said he needed.

 

"I am the very first female to ever offer a permanent tattoo on my forehead," Smith wrote at her eBay auction page. True: Brent Moffatt has already allowed GoldenPalace.com to be permanently tattooed on his forehead as well.

 

"We're always looking for ordinary people doing extraordinary things," GoldenPalace.com's Jon Wolf said in the AP segment.

 

Richard Rowe, the casino's CEO, thinks this type of body branding will become even more popular.

 

"It is a perfect way to get attention amid the clutter of advertising that people see every second of every day," Rowe said in a GoldenPalace.com press release. "Conventional forms of marketing just don't cut it anymore. To get people's attention, you have to stand out from the crowd."

 

GoldenPalace.com has already placed tattoos on arms, legs, pregnant bellies and even cleavage. Smith's forehead is just the latest in a long line of odd eBay purchases the casino has made as part of its unconventional marketing strategy.

 

It bought a grilled cheese sandwich bearing an image of what some say is the Madonna for $28,000; it spent almost $250,000 on a 1999 Volkswagen Golf previously owned by Pope Benedict XVI; and just a day before it bought Smith's forehead, GoldenPalace.com spent $529.99 on a "Celebrity Jar" containing air breathed by superstars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

 

eBay maintains policies on buying and selling certain items, like human body parts.

 

"Humans, the human body, or any human body parts are not permitted on eBay," the site's policy section explains. "Items that contain human hair (such as lockets) as well as skulls and skeletons that are used for medical purposes may be listed on eBay."

 

Merely auctioning space on one's body, however, does not violate eBay policy.

 

The San Jose, Calif.-based eBay, founded in September 1995, counts more than 100 million registered users around the world. Almost half a million people make all or part of their living selling items on the vast network. Some users sell an occasional item, whereas others run multi-million dollar businesses using eBay as their main business portal.

 

eBay did $34 billion in business in 2004, and in October of that year its CEO, Meg Whitman, was named by Fortune magazine as the most powerful woman in business.

 

"The need and desire to trade and make human connections I think is in the human DNA and has been there for centuries," Whitman told CBS News.

 

Cliff Vaughn is culture editor for EthicsDaily.com.

 

Also read:

 

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