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Can’t pay the mortgage? Company will turn your house into a billboard

By Kase Wickman
Monday, April 11, 2011 14:12 EDT
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What would you give up to have someone else pay the mortgage on your home for a few months? If one of your answers is “pride,” Adzookie, a self-described mobile advertising company, may have a deal for you.

Adzookie claims it will pay the mortgage on your house anywhere from three months up to a year if you consent to turn it into a billboard.

“We’re looking for houses to paint. In fact, paint is an understatement. We’re looking for homes to turn into billboards,” reads Adzookie’s website. Everything but windows, roof and any awnings would be included in the paint job, and at the end of the agreement, Adzookie will restore the house to its original paint color.

“If you’re prepared for the bright colors and stares from neighbors just complete the submission form below,” the company invites.

The “paint my house” program was launched early last week, and within 24 hours, more than 3,000 people had submitted their homes for review, CEO Romeo Mendoza told the Chicago Tribune.

Mendoza admitted that the house-painting idea was partially a stunt to boost Adzookie’s profile, a technique that seems to have worked. According to the California Secretary of State, the business registered in July 2010 in Fullerton, Calif. The company’s Facebook page has been quiet until recently — in fact, there was a nearly two-month lull from February 11 and April 6 where the page saw no activity at all, and before that, not a single person wrote on Adzookie’s wall, only status updates from the company.

Since last week, however, people who have submitted their homes for consideration have been posting nonstop.

“Paint my House! Paint Car! hell paint my clothes… If you pay me you can paint it!!” Facebook user Wilson Saint-Hilaire wrote.

“Paint My House, You could Help Me by If You could pay my mortgage I could pay for My medications, I am disabled and have a lot of Meds to pay for . If I helped you You could Help Me/ Even 3 months would pay for a years worth of meds… Thanks waiting to hear from You,” wrote Facebook user Shearoc Isonline.

Mendoza estimated to the Tribune that about 90 percent of applicants had included a personal story about why they needed help with their mortgage, and the other 10 percent were in it for the fun.

Adzookie’s website does not offer any of the criteria it will use to choose houses, or how many homes and in what location it will choose. There are also potential conflicts with homeowner’s associations and local laws about advertising in residential areas.

Mendoza said that though he expected some attention, the number of applications surprised him.

“It’s coming in droves,” he told The Wall Street Journal. “We hit a nerve… I knew people needed help, but I didn’t know so many. That’s kind of sad. We can’t help everyone, but we can help some.”

Image via Adzookie.com

Kase Wickman
Kase Wickman
Kase Wickman is a reporter for Raw Story. She holds a journalism degree from Boston University and grew up in Eugene, OR. Her work has been featured in The Boston Globe, Village Voice Media, The Christian Science Monitor, The Houston Chronicle and on NPR, among others. She lives in New York City and tweets from @kasewickman.
 
 
 
 
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