Charity pulls out of homeless campaign

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The Independent Online
The homeless charity Centrepoint was forced to pull the plug on a Christmas advertising campaign after featuring a squatter's cardboard "home" without his permission. The down-and-out, aged 20, hit the roof when he saw the photograph in the newspaper The Big Issue.

The campaign, launched in November, includes photographs of cardboard homes as a spoof on estate agents' property advertisements, to highlight the plight of the homeless.

But the squatter who lives at the "Bull-ring" near Waterloo station, London, recognised his own cardboard "bash" and demanded the advert be pulled, claiming it invaded his privacy.

A Centrepoint spokeswoman, Sara Moseley, defended the campaign, which features a picture of a "bash" with a caption underneath. "There aren't any laws to stop you taking photos of buildings," she said.

"But it has never been the charity's intent to cause offence to the homeless. We pulled it from the paper immediately. It didn't show his face but he was terribly upset."

One caption under the title "West-End" described the "des res" as the "spacious doorway of a famous department store". It added: " Revellers may pop in and urinate on their way home. Taxes collected nightly by extortion gangs."

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