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Tattoo if you love Martha
Stewart fan site buys ad space on a man's arm, hoping to start an ink wave.
January 25, 2005: 2:18 PM EST
By Les Christie, CNN/Money staff writer

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - The folks at the Save Martha! Web site have come up with a sharp new way to give their fallen heroine a "shot in the arm" ... they bought ad space on the body of entrepreneurial Long Islander Joe Tamargo.

Yep, Tamargo is targeted for a tattoo reading "Save Martha! Sign the petition to pardon Martha Stewart! SaveMartha.com," in multi-colored graphics. After they wheel him out of Cliff's Tattoo& Body Piercing in Huntington Village, New York this Thursday, Tamargo's arm will bear a permanent plea for mercy for the domestic diva.

Tamargo just launched a new business called LivingAdSpace.com, in which he sells space on his body (either permanent or temporary) to promote goods and services. The Stewart job is one of the first advertising tattoos that Tamargo will acquire.

Stewart is currently serving a 5-month sentence at a federal correction facility in Alderson, W. Va., for obstructing justice during a government investigation of her 2001 sale of Imclone stock. During the investigation and trial John Small, a Stewart fan, started the SaveMartha.com Web site for fans to lend support to the celebrity homemaker. Despite the end of the court case, the site continues to solicit support for Stewart.

And so comes this, the site's latest attention getter. Small had read about people selling tattoo space on their foreheads and he thought it was a natural tie-in with the free Martha movement. (It also goes nicely with the whole prison tattoo thing, although he doesn't expect Martha to emerge from Alderson with any subcutaneous additions to her art collection).

He discovered people selling permanent forehead tattoos on-line for as much as $15,000 ... too much for his small organization to spend. "Besides," he said, "I didn't think Martha would like that."

Temp tattoos were going for a few hundred on eBay, but Small wanted something of lasting value. He found Tamargo on eBay and placed his bid. It was exciting, reported Small. "Within the last two minutes I saw that the Golden Palace Casino (the same folks who recently bought a cheese sandwich with the image of the Virgin Mary charred into the bread) was bidding $480 for space on Tamargo's arm. If they were interested I figured I was on the right track so I put in a bid for a little higher and won it for $510."

Small hopes "to inspire people to get their own tattoo in support of Martha."

He neglected to mention whether he himself would go under the needle.  Top of page

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