Erin Ailworth, Boston Globe
Would you let a company paint your house in Gumby green and neon tangerine as the background for corporate logos and other advertising? What if the company paid your mortgage?
That’s the deal California advertising executive Romeo Mendoza is offering as he launches a somewhat altruistic — some might say obnoxious — campaign here and across the nation to promote his new marketing firm, Brainiacs from Mars. Mendoza’s targets for the loud paint jobs and corporate sponsorship are struggling homeowners trying to avoid foreclosure.
The Orange, Calif., company has already received inquiries from more than 100 Boston homeowners, including a veteran facing foreclosure because his disability compensation isn’t enough to cover the mortgage on his Waltham home, a Framingham father struggling to make house payments because he took a substantial pay cut after losing his previous job, and a Peabody parent whose paycheck is stretched thin trying to cover tuition payments for a son, the first in the family to go to college. The company declined to name applicants.
Mendoza said he recognizes that he’ll run up against neighborhood opposition and local and state laws restricting — or banning — outdoor advertising. But, he added, he’ll take on those issues as they come.
“Most of the applications, I’d say 90 percent, are people in need, people who have lost a job,” Mendoza said. “They’re all compelling stories.”
Grace Ross, coordinator of the Massachusetts Alliance Against Predatory Lending, said that while quirky, Mendoza’s campaign might have merit. It would be even better, she added, if the attention received by houses painted by Brainiacs from Mars helped erase the stigma of foreclosure.
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