A new charity ad suggests that the only way to get people to pay attention to the poor is to insult them.
In something of an unorthodox move, the United Kingdom’s Pilion Trust sent a man into a busy London street wearing a sign around his neck that said “F*** THE POOR,” and filmed how people reacted.
The response, as you might imagine, was hostile, with passersby stopping either to express their anger or to more politely explain how good people can become poor due to circumstances beyond their control.
The purpose of the ad doesn’t become clear until about 45 seconds in, when the video shows what happens when the man returns to the street wearing a sign reading “HELP THE POOR.”
Instead of stopping to insult the man, fellow Londoners merely walk by as if he isn’t even there. At the end, the video fades to black and a written message that says “PLEASE CARE ENOUGH TO GIVE.”
According to Pilion Trust’s website, the charity provides basic services like food, temporary shelter, and counseling to homeless people in the London area.
In a blog post, Pilion Trust said it has recently endured government funding cuts of 60%, and made the ad as a means of reminding people they need to care enough to donate money in order to make a difference.
“We understand that some may be shocked by this footage,” Pilion Trust chief executive Savvas Panas wrote. “We are more offended however, that people across the United Kingdom are living in adverse poverty.”
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