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Sat Dec 20 2008 12:54:41

Scarlett Johansson eBay Auction:Looks Like a Booger but It's Snot

By: David Steiner

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The headlines go something like this: "Scarlett fever spreads through eBay tissue,"  "Scarlett Johansson Gives a Snot About Hunger" and "Scarlett Johansson - Bioterrorist?

When I first spotted the stories for the Scarlett Johansson "Tissue" auction, my first instinct was to let it blow over. However, 1) being a guy 2) never trusting my first instinct and 3) seeing the rare opportunity to use the word "booger" in a headline, I had to jump in with both fingers. (for typing, that is…)

A little background: ScarJo, as the Hollywood paparazzi have anointed her, appeared on the Tonight Show last week, with a cold that co-star Samuel L. Jackson had given her. After sneezing into a Kleenex offered to her by host Jay Leno, the snot rag was promptly put up on eBay, with the proceeds going to one of Johansson's favorite charities - USA Harvest - an organization that feeds the hungry. I'm sure that USA Harvest will appreciate the donation - I'm not sure how they feel about what Johansson harvested to raise the money.

Actually, I find something disturbing about a star hawking their "hockings" for charity. Besides the obvious health issues, much of it has to do with eBay's schizophrenia about the type of site they want to be. Are they a serious ecommerce site, or a freak show? I also take issue with eBay's convenient definition for what is appropriate to put up on their site. Is it determined by the number of page views that a high-profile listing like this is likely to generate?

EBay doesn't allow the sale of used underwear or body parts on its site ("Examples of prohibited items include, but are not limited to: organs, bone, blood, waste, sperm, eggs"), and I have no idea if items like soiled undergarments or "biohazard tissues" can be shipped by any carrier. Maybe you have to be a celebrity of a certain magnitude to put your used thong up for bid. Recently, a Pennsylvania man had his testicle pulled by eBay (now maybe he knows what it's like to be a seller) shortly after it was listed. Perhaps it was because he was just a lister - not an "A-lister."

If this is the type of PR that eBay is seeking, brace yourself for an onslaught of "affluent effluence" auctions. Imagine the street value of, say, Barbra Streisand's celebrity discharge, for instance. That nose has got to be a goldmine! And taking it a step further, just think about what George Michael or Hugh Grant could bring to the table. On second thought, don't.

EBay typically takes down many of these auctions before completion, (at the time of this posting, this auction was still live) but not before the press has had a chance to plaster the company' name on just about every newspaper and web site in existence (including this one). eBay's unique visitors and page views have been dropping lately, but is the company that desperate for press and traffic?

If these types of auctions are allowed on eBay, charities will be praying for an outbreak of dysentery in Hollywood. Yeah, I know, this isn't the first time we've seen this on eBay - or probably the last, so why start with Scarlett Johansson's nose?

I guess at some point, you just have to pick your battles.



Update from Ina: About 20 minutes after David posted this, an eBay seller wrote to say she had listed an auction for her own "snot rag" this morning, and said it was pulled for a listing violation, "selling human body parts or remains". She went on to write, "The little guys are expected to follow rules that don't apply to others! I'm attaching screenshots of my auction, and the listing violation email from eBay, along with one of the Johansson snot auction."

While David and I like to see charity auctions, eBay has played Grinch many times in the past, pulling similar charity auctions when they violate policy. I'm sending an inquiry to eBay Public Relations to see why it is featuring an auction that violates its policy right on the eBay home page, and why it is enforcing the policy for non-celebrity sellers.



Update 12/23/08: See today's AuctionBytes Newsflash article for an update on this story.




Comments (86) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Scarlett Johansson eBay Auction:Looks Like a Booger but It's Snot   Scarlett Johansson eBay Auction:Looks Like a Booger but It's Snot

by: Serge G

Sat Dec 20 13:23:43 2008

I'd like inform you that Scarlett Johansson (actress)actually is a clone from original person,who has nothing with acting career.Clone was created illegally using stolen biomaterial.Original Scarlett Galabekian last name is nice, CHRISTIAN young lady.I'll tell more,those clones(it's not only 1)made in GERMANY-world leader manufacturer of humans clones,it's in Ludwigshafen am Rhein,Rhineland-Palatinate,Mr.Helmut Kohl home town.You can't even imaging the scale of the cloning activity.But warning,H.Kohl staff strictly controlling their clones spreading around the world,they're NAZI type disciplined and mind controlled,be careful get close with clones you will be controlled too.Original family didn't authorize any activity with stolen biomaterials,no matter what form it was created in,it's all need to be back to original family control in Cedars-Sinai MedicalCenter in LA.Controlling clones is US military operation.Original Scarlett never was engaged,by the way

Scarlett Johansson eBay Auction:Looks Like a Booger but It's Snot   Scarlett Johansson eBay Auction:Looks Like a Booger but It's Snot

by: Clay Achin'

Sat Dec 20 13:53:12 2008

I knew there was something fishy about that auction, but I couldn't put my finger on it...

Scarlett Johansson eBay Auction:Looks Like a Booger but It's Snot   Scarlett Johansson eBay Auction:Looks Like a Booger but It's Snot

by: Patricia

Sat Dec 20 13:54:34 2008

This is about all I've heard for the past two days.  I get google alerts on Ebay and every single one of them contained an article about this person and her tissue.  Am I the only one in the world who really really doesn't care?

Scarlett Johansson eBay Auction:Looks Like a Booger but It's Snot   Scarlett Johansson eBay Auction:Looks Like a Booger but It's Snot

by: oh_puhl_eeze

Sat Dec 20 14:07:16 2008

Yep, that small seller was me!  I just couldn't believe it! SNOT?????  So, I put up my own to see how long it would stay.  It actually lasted longer than I thought it would - about 2 hours.  My snot is apparently not on a par with Scarlett's.

On top of having the listing pulled, my seller dashboard is showing as "Poor" in the policy compliance section.  Oh well, I need another violation for sanctions and I don't plan on listing any more bodily secretions for the time being!  Besides, I haven't listed anything there in months and don't plan to in the near future.  This one was just too hard to resist!

Scarlett Johansson eBay Auction:Looks Like a Booger but It's Snot   Scarlett Johansson eBay Auction:Looks Like a Booger but It's Snot

by: Robert

Sat Dec 20 14:11:00 2008

I bet ebay/PayPay wont enforce their 21 day hold on payment to Johansson for her snotty tissue like they strictly enforce on all other sellers that dont have at least 100 seller feedbacks over 12 month time frame!

That is what really should be making headlines!

Scarlett Johansson eBay Auction:Looks Like a Booger but It's Snot   Scarlett Johansson eBay Auction:Looks Like a Booger but It's Snot

by: Robert

Sat Dec 20 14:19:29 2008

@oh_puhl_eeze,


that's awesome! I hope your story makes headline news. I encourage you to go forward to the press with it, and expose the unfairness that does exist at ebay.  
If Johansson's listing wasnt in violation any policy, then yours should be either.

Scarlett Johansson eBay Auction:Looks Like a Booger but It's Snot   Scarlett Johansson eBay Auction:Looks Like a Booger but It's Snot

by: On Lies and Secrets

Sat Dec 20 15:19:52 2008

In my opinion, this is irresponsible on the part of all parties concerned because of the message about public health that this 'charity auction' communicates to a general audience. Telling a joke is one thing; running an actual auction is another altogether. I think running an actual auction is crossing the line.  If anyone has a cold or a communicable disease, then they should carefully dispose of used tissues promptly.  

Many people are concerned about the potential for serious pandemics these days. In my opinion, it is not a good practice to make light of even minor illnesses that can be transmitted to other people and it is very poor to suggest any behavior in a broadly communicated media message other than that which is suggested by medical experts.

In my opinion, the Tonight Show, Scarlett Johansson and the ebay corporation should make a public service announcement where they disavow this auction and provide the general public knowledge of the appropriate guidelines for handling this type of bodily discharge.

Scarlett Johansson eBay Auction:Looks Like a Booger but It's Snot   Scarlett Johansson eBay Auction:Looks Like a Booger but It's Snot

by: peeved

Sat Dec 20 15:23:06 2008

what a way to get publicity,desperate as ebay is to get visitors/page hits

and let's not forget...if someone does actually pay for this..how much $$$ does ebay make.

greedy gits

Scarlett Johansson eBay Auction:Looks Like a Booger but It's Snot   Scarlett Johansson eBay Auction:Looks Like a Booger but It's Snot

by: oh_puhl_eeze

Sat Dec 20 15:38:14 2008

lies

I agree.  My auction had a bid (from a fellow Seller Central poster), and I was thinking "I'm not going to actually MAIL this am I?"

Scarlett Johansson eBay Auction:Looks Like a Booger but It's Snot   Scarlett Johansson eBay Auction:Looks Like a Booger but It's Snot

by: Patrick Alexander

Sat Dec 20 16:26:53 2008

oh_puhl_eeze: All snot IS NOT created equal, but you know that now.


Old school cheer for the auction winner. They used to sing this on my game bus...

Everybody's doin' it, doin' it, doin' it.
Pickin' their nose & chewin' it, chewin' it.
They think it's candy, but it's not.
It's a hot snot sandwich with a booger on top!

Sorry, I couldn't help myself.

As for eBay, Scarlett, Jay & Snot: gross to the max.......

Scarlett Johansson eBay Auction:Looks Like a Booger but It's Snot   Scarlett Johansson eBay Auction:Looks Like a Booger but It's Snot

by: claypipe

Sat Dec 20 17:38:45 2008

@ oh_puhl_eeze....I hope you copied your auction after it was listed, I would send a copy, along with eBay's policy violation statement and the current celebrity auction that is still running and send it to all the Goverment agenices that over see free trade and violations.

Scarlett Johansson eBay Auction:Looks Like a Booger but It's Snot   Scarlett Johansson eBay Auction:Looks Like a Booger but It's Snot

by: claypipe

Sat Dec 20 17:53:20 2008

Ina....Do the right thing here and send out the screenshots, Canceled auction from this person,  policy violation statement by eBay and current and past auctions that eBay has allowed even though they were in violation to the appropriate Gov. business & legal agencies. If the greater powers that be (auctionbytes) don't stand up to the plate then you just might as well not even post these topics. There are a lot of small sellers complaining and getting tired of seeing big business make the rules for us and then violate these same rules them themselves for their own personal gain.....Many may say this is a charity auction but eBay stands to gain a lot of publicity on this, and it appears they will violate their own policy for the sake of same.

Scarlett Johansson eBay Auction:Looks Like a Booger but It's Snot   Scarlett Johansson eBay Auction:Looks Like a Booger but It's Snot

by: o.c.d.collectibles

Sat Dec 20 19:01:00 2008

Great way to transmit Hepatitis C and TB. Especially if she's been traveling to different countries lately and hasn't been tested by PPD or chest x rays.If she has used IV drugs, she has a chance of transmitting the HepC. Odds are higher with Hollywood people. Good luck if ebay gets sued by a buyer who gets sick.

Not that they don't deserve to get sued!LOL!

Scarlett Johansson eBay Auction:Looks Like a Booger but It's Snot   Scarlett Johansson eBay Auction:Looks Like a Booger but It's Snot

by: o.c.d.collectibles

Sat Dec 20 19:03:15 2008

The next thing we'll be seeing is Keith Richard's slimy underwear with skid marks. That'll give you Hep C for SURE!

Scarlett Johansson eBay Auction:Looks Like a Booger but It's Snot   Scarlett Johansson eBay Auction:Looks Like a Booger but It's Snot

by: Just ToBe Indifferent

Sat Dec 20 20:20:20 2008

Chit!  I'm going to bid and out bid 'whoever' just to prove a point...not to be indifferent of take money from a charity ... but enuf is enuf ... after i NARU'd myself months ago, this outta be fun...only problem is...one needs to be qualified to bid - what the hell kind of deal is that/

Scarlett Johansson eBay Auction:Looks Like a Booger but It's Snot   Scarlett Johansson eBay Auction:Looks Like a Booger but It's Snot

This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly

Sat Dec 20 20:28:51 2008

Oh it's all fun and games now, but wait until someone drains the hot tub and Griff gets cloned.

Then it will be too late!

Scarlett Johansson eBay Auction:Looks Like a Booger but It's Snot   Scarlett Johansson eBay Auction:Looks Like a Booger but It's Snot

This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly

Sat Dec 20 20:29:10 2008

Oh it's all fun and games now, but wait until someone drains the hot tub and Griff gets cloned.

Then it will be too late!

Scarlett Johansson eBay Auction:Looks Like a Booger but It's Snot   Scarlett Johansson eBay Auction:Looks Like a Booger but It's Snot

by: U r kidding right?

Sat Dec 20 22:18:35 2008

You are all pathetic children. This is for charity. Who the hell cares? If I own a company I will also make an exception for whatever I want. Just let it go already. Geez!

Scarlett Johansson eBay Auction:Looks Like a Booger but It's Snot   Scarlett Johansson eBay Auction:Looks Like a Booger but It's Snot

by: Another wronged Seller

Sun Dec 21 01:19:47 2008

@U R kidding right?

You're being elitest. It's your company and you can do what you want?

That's the EXACT attitude ebay has been taking to the detriment of ALL sellers and what most of these posters are incensed about. Just one more example that the rules apply to diamonds and small sellers completely differently.

I'll give you a clue:

These posts have little to do with the actual auction in question and has everything to do with all the similar UNEQUAL treatment foisted upon sellers for the last year and a half or so by ebay management.

This auction in and of itself is a little thing but it highlights the hypocritical way ebay chooses to enforce its policies. And it just further rubs salt in everyones wounds.

Scarlett Johansson eBay Auction:Looks Like a Booger but It's Snot   Scarlett Johansson eBay Auction:Looks Like a Booger but It's Snot

by: eBay is scum

Sun Dec 21 03:53:56 2008

We had a snot rag from Howard Stern taken off eBay a few years ago because ...no body part, no bodily fluids allowed, etc of course sleezebat kept all our fees.
We also complained about SJ dirty tissue but alas received no response.
Complaints about celebs almost never get addressed at sleezebay, how level is that?

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