trash talking

In a gesture that can be best described as kindhearted, clever and illegal, San Diego agency Matthews/Mark recently plastered dozens of oversized “nutrition facts” stickers on garbage cans around the city. The idea, said president and creative director Michael Mark, was to call attention to the plight of homeless people having to scavenge food from the trash.

“We were walking down the street and someone threw away a can of soda,” said Mark, recalling the genesis of the pro-bono effort, which is tied to local food-drive efforts. “When we saw a homeless guy pick the can out of the trash and drink what was left, we got the idea.”

The stickers are modeled after the boxes that appear on food products, but contain information on the nutrition content of “chewed gum,” a “ketchup packet” and other such items.

Mark said he was not overly concerned about being arrested for defacing public property. “It is always a risk, but we though this was important,” he said.