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."
The Mayor of Dublin, Georgia may be opening up a debate on what should be considered indecent exposure after announcing that wearing saggy, baggy pants is a violation that could face fines up to $200. Best has been mayor of this town of approximately 16,000 residents for over a decade, while also serving as CEO of his own construction company. CNN reports that this week he will sign an amendment to the municipality's indecent exposure ordinance—an amendment that prohibits the wearing of pants or skirts "more than three inches below the top of the hips exposing the skin or undergarments." Some residents in Dublin, in central Georgia about 130 miles southeast of Atlanta, feel the rule will single out a specific group of citizens and lead to profiling, an accusation Best says is "ridiculous," claiming the ordinance has been “violated by all races and sexes.” Best is also not alone in his campaign.
Flint, Michigan recently passed a ban against sagging pants. So did Riviera Beach, Florida, only to have the legislation declared unconstitutional. "It's time we all have a mutual respect for each other ... what a person does in the privacy of their home is fine," Best said. "But if I had an 8-year-old daughter, I don't think she needs to be subjected to looking at someone's rear end."
The Delaware Senate candidate backed by the Tea Party alleges that Republican leadership is behind a plot against her.
In an interview yesterday with the Weekly Standard, O'Donnell said unnamed opponents are following her. "They follow me home at night. I make sure that I come back to the townhouse and then we have our team come out and check all the bushes and check all the cars to make sure that - they follow me," she told the paper.
O'Donnell is challenging moderate GOP congressman Mike Castle in the September 14 primary and has said there is no difference between him and the Democrat in the race, Chris Coons. Her campaign website describes her as "a nationally recognized political commentator and marketing consultant" who previously worked for the Republican National Committee.
After endorsing her earlier this week, the Tea Party announced they will spend up to $250,000 on her campaign ads. "We are launching an aggressive multimedia and multiplatform campaign to help propel Christine O'Donnell to victory, and we've only just begun," said Amy Kremer, chairman of the Tea Party Express, in a statement.