Remember Skinvertising?

Buzzfeed looks back at skinvertising and the people who have permanent advertising of long dead companies etched into their bodies:

Dot-com “skinvertising” — a term somebody came up with when it was still a thing — was a media sensation in the mid-2000s. In 2003, the first advertising space of this kind was sold on the back of the head of an Illinois man named Jim Nelson. A Web hosting company then known as CI Host paid $7,000 for the space. Nelson signed a contract stating that he would keep the tattoo for at least five years.

Invariably, the only businesses crazy enough to pay for these things were dotcoms. Blue-chip companies didn’t want to be associated with such base stunts and the controversy engendered by purchasing human flesh to sell products. Eventually, reporters, news consumers, and people willing to buy or sell skin ads tired of these “news of the weird” tattoo stories, and the trend died out by the late 2000s. So did most of the dot-coms. But many of the tattoos are still around.

One of Tamargo’s tattoos is for, a site that was dedicated to keeping Martha Stewart out of prison following her indictment for securities fraud. Stewart went to prison. Stewart got out of prison. And yet Tamargo still has a tattoo imploring you to save her. He has tried to buy one of the defunct domain names on his arm,, a former online Viagra purveyor, and do something with it. He was unsuccessful. He doesn’t see himself getting the tattoos removed anytime soon.


  1. As is said….stupid is as stupid does.

    It’s really not a coincidence that people in such dire need of money would be the same type of people to underatke such actions.

    (And no, I’m not saying that all poor people are morons, only the ones who do things like this to alleviate their financial difficulties)

  2. I get what you’re sayin’, McGee. Desperate people do desperate things when facing what they consider to be a desperate financial emergency.

    Can you imagine what would happen if selling one’s organs was legal? I don’t think that would end up as a “win-win” situation.

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