Of course, once word of this campaign got around, there were some upset people. According to The Journal, Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis called the campaign "distasteful, inappropriate, and exploitative." One can almost picture Helen Lovejoy shouting, "Won't someone please think of the children!"
It was undoubtedly a risqué and edgy promotion, but should Virgin Mobile have stopped it? The terms of service clearly state that submissions have to come from users 18 and older, and the company filtered the videos to make sure it didn't fall into Skinemax territory. And Virgin Mobile users -- mainly teens, or young adults with credit issues -- are probably adept at finding salacious material online anyway.
Of course, the cynic has to think the company knew this kind of blowback would happen, and the resulting press coverage would elevate Blank2Clothe. But, if the goal is to get some clothes for homeless teens, wouldn't the original campaign generate more traffic. The "controversial" videos led to 15,000 pieces of clothing donated to charities in a week.
Naturally, the ends don't justify the means in every scenario -- I'd disapprove of a "StealFromGrandma2Clothe" campaign -- but the original promotion was fine marketing, and it should have been continued.
What do you think -- did this project cross a line?