MADELEINE BRAND, host:
This is DAY TO DAY. I'm Madeleine Brand.
And now to more talk, corporate talk now, in the form of advertising. A pregnant woman in Pennsylvania is putting her newborn up for sale. She's advertising on eBay that he will be available for corporate sponsorship once he's born. I spoke earlier with the mom, Michele Hutchison.
Well, Michele Hutchison, how did you come up with this idea?
Ms. MICHELE HUTCHISON (Auctioning off Advertising Space on Her Newborn's Clothing): Well, my husband and I were watching the news about two weeks ago, and there's a local girl from over in New Jersey who was auctioning off ad space on her body. And I was kidding when I said this, but I said to my husband that we should do that on our baby. And then the next day I just kept thinking about it, and I'm thinking, you know, `There's got to be a tasteful way that we could do that.' And that's just where I thought of it.
BRAND: And you don't mean physically on your baby.
Ms. HUTCHISON: No, not on the baby. Absolutely not.
Ms. HUTCHISON: Like it says in the auction, I won't tattoo anything on him, even temporary--no stickers, no anything on his skin. He's merely going to wear the clothing, that's it. We have no other obligations besides to do that.
BRAND: And you'd do it for how long?
Ms. HUTCHISON: One month.
BRAND: One month. And any company at all?
Ms. HUTCHISON: No, not--well, within reason. Like, I have rules that it can't have anything to do with drugs or alcohol, no profanity, no--you know, no cursing, no bashing of any other company or people, brand--anything like that.
BRAND: And so far any takers?
Ms. HUTCHISON: Well, yeah. GoldenPalace.com bought the month of July for $1,000.
Ms. HUTCHISON: Yeah.
BRAND: And so what are you going to do?
Ms. HUTCHISON: Well, we have--we're doing it one more time. It's on auction right now for the month of August, and then we're done. Don't plan on doing it again after that.
BRAND: You know, a news article was written about you, and a Harvard psychologist, Susan Linn, was quoted as saying, `What this woman is doing is turning her child into an object to be bought and sold.'
Ms. HUTCHISON: I read that. I think that's horrible, but, you know, everyone's entitled to their opinion, and there's going to be people who think I'm doing something horrible and people who think I'm doing something great. I just need to take it with a grain of salt. And we don't believe we're doing anything wrong, so we're just going to continue with it.
BRAND: But GoldenPalace.com is a gambling site.
Ms. HUTCHISON: Right.
BRAND: So are you promoting gambling?
Ms. HUTCHISON: I guess I would be. But, you know, when my husband and I got married, we--our son was one. And for our honeymoon we had gone to a casino, and we had gotten him a little T-shirt from the casino gift shop, so I don't see anything wrong with that.
BRAND: So you don't see any difference between this and, for example, your baby wearing a baby Gap onesie?
Ms. HUTCHISON: Exactly. I mean, we wear logos on our clothing every day, and we advertise for these companies for free. So why not try and get paid for it, especially since the money, you know, will help us? I'm a stay-at-home mom, and so this would really help with the baby's expenses and be able to put some money away for the two kids.
BRAND: Michele Hutchison, good luck to you and good luck with your birth...
Ms. HUTCHISON: Thank you.
BRAND: ...next Tuesday, and thanks for joining us.
Ms. HUTCHISON: OK. Thank you so much.
(Soundbite of music)
BRAND: DAY TO DAY returns in a moment. I'm Madeleine Brand.
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