Monday's intriguing people
The Martins, known as the "Billboard Family," list their attributes as well as a calendar of their scheduled ads on their website.
January 17th, 2011
12:39 PM ET

Monday's intriguing people

Alex Martin

If she’s branded, they might come. The Martins, known as the “Billboard Family," advertised for the company that paid to sponsor Alex’s birth this month by noting details on social-network sites, their website, YouTube and even on the small onesie the newborn wore minutes after her birth.

This is all part of a business venture Amy and Carl Martin (Alex’s parents) launched - which promises that all five family members will wear a company’s T-shirt for an entire day, documenting their experiences online, in exchange for a small ad fee. The couple hopes to net $240,000 on the venture and to franchise the business in 35 states, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Aisha Sultan writes that “the Martins are either the logical conclusion of what happens when privacy ceases to exist or they are the bellwethers of the new age of parenting.”

For those criticizing them, Carl Martin told Time.com that they see what they are doing as capitalizing on something that's already prevalent.

"Our position is that we are simply living our normal lives (we take photos and videos in T-shirts anyway). The only difference is we are wearing T-shirts with rented space on them, that is all," Martin told Time.com. "In rebuttal to those who say this is exploitation we like to ask, 'Do your children wear branded T-shorts?' The answer is obviously yes. Almost all clothing is branded. We are just getting paid to wear the logos, instead of paying to wear them. Are sponsored little league sports teams exploitative? I think most would say no."

Nat Turner

The former history teacher from Manhattan has spent two years in New Orleans, where he runs Our School at Blair Grocery, an urban farm and education project in the Lower Ninth Ward.

Turner has six students but says he hopes the project could be an important example in using agriculture to empower black youth, according to The New York Times.

“Louisiana has a 63 percent high school graduation rate,” Turner told the Times. “It has roughly a 60 percent adult literacy rate. We know that wealthy white people Uptown can read, right? But no one really cares if the public school system works because rich people’s kids are going to private schools.”

Fouad Mebazaa

Tunisia’s parliamentary speaker is now his country’s acting leader, following days of street protests and corruption allegations against President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who fled the country Friday after more than two decades of rule.

Mebazaa, who has a law degree and studied in France, addressed Tunisians over the weekend on national TV, promising to restore stability to his country.

He has called for a national unity government and democratic elections within two months.

soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Robin

    Well, I do commend them for being so creative during this poor economic time. There is too much negativity on the prior comments. It sounds like fun, and they are doing it together as a FAMILY!

    January 18, 2011 at 5:06 am | Report abuse |
  2. FAMILY (MY)

    For all the people who want to judge my family...........Here's to you!!!! This family is an AMERICAN family. SO LET'S SEE SOME OF YOU POST YOUR PICTURE ...... WITHOUT KNOWING YOU...... LET THE ULGY WORLD JUDGE YOU. I'M SURE IF YOU ASK EITHER ONE OF THEM IF THEY WANT TO LOSE WEIGHT I'M SURE BOTH WOULD MAYBE SAY YES ... BUT WHO KNOWS MAYBE THEY DON'T. I CAN TELL YOU NEITHER ONE OF THEM DRINK, DO DRUGS AND THEY OWN THERE HOME.........OUTRIGHT!!! THEY HAVE CHILDERN WHO SMILE AND LAUGH. THE KIDS HAVE PARENTS THAT ARE PRESENT!!!!!!!!!!! DO YOU HAVE KIDS THAT YOU IGNORE? MAYBE YOU DRINK? MAYBE YOU TOO HAVE SOME WEIGHT TO LOSE? MAYBE, MAYBE, MAYBE................ YOU DONT KNOW THIS MAN SERVED FOR "OUR" COUNTRY. THE TATOOS JUST REPRESENT MEMORIES THAT HE DOSENT WANT TO FORGET. THE TATOOS REPRESENT WHO HE IS AS A PERSON, AS A MAN.

    January 18, 2011 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Gerald

    Carl and Amy are LIARS. Having dealt with them personally I suggest staying away from them. The business should be LIARS FOR HIRE but they fail to do what they promise. I suggest they start making rolls of tp wit htheir face on it, then they would make some money...

    January 25, 2011 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
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