EpicStep, a kickstarter-esque website that crowdsources funds for billboards, has pledged to pay for an Occupy Wall Street billboard if 20,000 people vote for it on their website. People can vote on the design and city where it will be built, and if enough people vote, EpicStep will fund it. If 200,000 people vote, they will buy ad space for two Occupy Wall Street billboards in Times Square. We spoke with one of EpicStep’s founders, and they told us that they approached Occupy Wall Street with the idea and “they loved it.” So far, the campaign only has 694 votes, but there are 29 days remaining.
EpicStep started in March and have built eight successful billboards so far. People suggest causes and submit designs and the rest is up to site visitors to donate the needed money. They’ve put up two — one in L.A. and one in Chicago — featuring an image of Julian Assange with the text, “WikiLeaks: Giving us the Truth When Everyone Else Refuses To.” They have also helped in gathering funds for two billboards for BradleyManning.org. Outside of the Wikileaks sphere, $1,975 was donated for a billboard calling for a primary opponent for Barack Obama.
EpicStep said they have turned down proposed billboards before, and that they look for “existing causes with a growing base of passionate supporters.” They have multiple causes awaiting funding: One is a billboard demanding an apology from Southwest Airlines to actress Leisha Hailey, who was kicked off a flight for kissing her girlfriend, and another one that says, “Shame on MasterCard for Supporting Live Dolphin Trade.”
Normally, visitors to the site pledge money to fund the billboards and EpicStep takes a 10% fee. If they don’t raise enough money, the billboard doesn’t get built and donors aren’t charged. Occupy Wall Street’s campaign, however, is based purely on votes. EpicStep estimates the Times Square ad space would cost $20,000-$50,000. They say they have backers to fund the project should it receive the 200,000 votes needed.
Head on over to vote if you feel so compelled. Even if you don’t support the cause, it’d be nice to see some understated billboards in Times Square to contrast Jeffrey Eugenides’s vest-clad bravado.