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February 20, 2022

Wanna make an easy $5,000? Tattoo your face.

By Jason Buckland, Sympatico / MSN Finance

Interesting story on the New York Times website about a group of 30 Kiwis from New Zealand shaving their heads and getting temporary tattoos to promote a local airline.

For a round-trip airline ticket or $777 in cash (a nod to the Boeing airplane model), participants – who were men and women – lost their locks and plastered an Air New Zealand slogan across the backs of their skulls:

“Need a change? Head down to New Zealand.,” the tattoo reads.

The airline’s marketing company calls these “cranial billboards,” and while this idea isn’t totally new, it’s pretty remarkable how prevalent the trend has become.

At, you can actually solicit advertisers on the web to take up ad space on you by posting a profile picture and becoming a member.

Alex Fisher, the site’s founder, told CNET News’ Daniel Terdiman she got the idea for the site after seeing the attention a woman got when she started an eBay auction for the rights to buy space on her forehead for a real tattoo. ended up paying her $10,000.

"I thought, why not make a company where advertisers can find thousands of people and pay a lot less money to do this kind of advertising?" Fisher said.

There’s a few catches to Lease Your Body. First, there’s a nifty little user fee of $19.99 to become a member, cash which is pegged to “ease the costs of operating” the site.

Second, the standard contract for advertisers to buy space on your body is 30 days. But to confirm you’re not just washing the tattoo off, you have to send in updated pictures of it on your body throughout the month to get the full payment. No word on whether they make you hold up that day’s newspaper to the camera like a bad Cuba Gooding Jr. movie about Central American kidnappers or something.

From there, though, seems like you might actually be able to make some cash. You can pick which body part you want to use for different payments, but a forehead tattoo, for example, can earn you up $5,000.

So, is having a person walk around with a Future Shop flyer on their face a blatant blitz against our personal space? Yeah, probably. But come on, ads are already a part of everything we do and everyone knows it. You don’t think of a place like Times Square without the bright lights and store signs, and no one even bats an eyelash at those billboard cars that roam the downtown cores of major cities anymore.

Advertising tattoos on someone’s head then? Why not?



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

James HaversJames Havers

James is the senior editor of MSN Money living in Toronto. He has worked for the Nikkei Shimbun (Tokyo),,, Canadian Business and other publications. Havers turned to journalism after teaching overseas.

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...