Virgin Mobile, one of the largest cellphone companies in the country, and the National Network For Youth (NN4Y), a Washington, D.C., lobbying group for more than 150 organizations that help homeless youth, kicked off a new charitable campaign. It promises to make a clothing donation to homeless youth every time five people watch the striptease videos. Virgin Mobile's "Strip2Clothe" website bares the campaign slogan, "You take off yours, we donate ours" and "Somewhere someone out there needs clothes more than you."
The website asks that there be no cursing or full nudity. "Think bathing suit, not birthday suit," it says. However, several entries feature young women dancing in bras and panties. So far, the company has received more than 72,000 donations.
Not surprisingly, the campaign has run into a firestorm of protest from some of the groups it is supposed to benefit. A national network that serves homeless youth said Saturday it is reconsidering the controversial campaign after Catholic Charities and other outraged groups in Minnesota and across the country complained that the effort is inappropriate and exploits young people.