logo - click for high-res version

Body ads - the controversial business of selling skin for cash

Watch as featured on ABC's 20/20 segment on the phenomenon of

October 16, 2012, Alderney. Press Dispensary. In June of 2005,, an internet casino renowned for outrageous advertising, submitted the winning bid at an online auction to permanently tattoo its website address on Karolyne Smith's forehead.  At the time, Smith claimed that she did it to raise funds for her son's private school tuition, proclaiming: "I really want to do this. To everyone else, it seems like a stupid thing to do. To me, $10,000 is like $1 million. I only live once, and I'm doing it for my son ... It's a small sacrifice to build a better future for my son."  Even after the bid was accepted, the online casino provided an additional $5,000 to be put towards her son's education.  

This type of unconventional advertising, referred to in marketing circles as "skinvertising," was recently featured on ABC’s 20/20, which aired on October 12, 2012 (Click here for video:  In the segment, reporter Nick Watt checked in with Karolyne to discuss what life has been like in the wake of her controversial decision.  The interview took place in the new home Smith said she was able to purchase with the help of the money she'd received from  She goes on to discuss how she and her husband still share a laugh over her provocative marking, but also acknowledges that the tattoo has proven to be limiting in terms of her ability to seek out new employment opportunities.  According to Smith, this was the primary reason for her decision to have the tattoo removed.  The removal process, now in its final stages, was also funded by  

The program also featured Billy "The Human Billboard" Gibby.  Gibby currently has 39 advertisements covering a substantial portion of his body; all are paid endorsements for various brands.  His first tattoo, a large one on his back, was for none other than  Gibby, a boxer from the Northern state of Alaska, was inspired to engage in the provocative practice of skinvertising after seeing the tattooed back of famous boxing champion, Bernard Hopkins in 2001.  While Hopkins’ tattoo was a temporary one, when Gibby approached the online casino that made this practice a worldwide phenomenon, he offered to make the arrangement permanent.  Like Karolyne Smith, Gibby's motive was a selfless one.  He wanted to raise money to help cover the cost of the kidney transplant he’d undergone to assist someone in need, and also to help provide a better life for his family.

As with any unconventional act, skinvertising has its fans and critics.  What cannot be disputed is that the results are attention getting, both for the sponsor and the participant.  It should also be noted that the pioneers of body ads,, are among the few of the early "dot com bubble" companies still thriving.  Now that the casino's attention is focused on International markets, they intend to continue this practice outside of the US and Canada. Inquiries from interested parties can be made via email by contacting has made headlines across the globe through various unconventional marketing campaigns with much of the proceeds going to benefit numerous charities. Its unique marketing stunts have been copied but never duplicated.  Some of their most noteworthy purchases include the Beckham Ball, Pope Benedict XVI's used VW Golf, and TV star William Shatner's kidney stone. Although no longer accepts players from the United States, the casino still caters to most countries around the world. has used its items and marketing reach to raise awareness and over $1,000,000 for various charities worldwide.

- ends -

For further information please contact
Richard Allen, Marketing
Tel: 00-800-0704-4507

Media contacts

Richard Allen, Marketing
Tel: 00-800-0704-4507

skintervising tattoo advertising forehead tattoo body advertising online casino GoldenPalace



Karolyne Smith on 20/20

Karolyne Smith talks about “Skinvertising” for with 20/20’s Nick Watt

Images for download
Click on any image to view or download in higher resolution.