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Man markets self in nonexistent iPhone 5 line

A man decides to pitch a tent outside the Covent Garden Apple store in London. He is using the launch as a means to getting fame and free swag. He claims to be a marketer. But is he merely marketing himself?

You will, by now, be familiar with those wild and needy people who line up outside Apple stores days and weeks before the company releases a new emotional security blanket.

I fear that the enthusiasm of these previous actors may ultimately be mere hopscotch when compared to the actions of Rob Shoesmith.

TechCrunch tells me that Shoesmith intends any day now to pitch a tent outside the Covent Garden Apple store in London.

On hearing this, you might be muttering: "But there's no release date for the iPhone 5." You might be even be wondering if there will be an iPhone 5.

This, however, doesn't deter Shoesmith. For he is not merely a lonely boy looking for a little attention. No, he claims to be a marketer and therefore is looking for a lot of attention.

What marketers do is set up Web sites--here's Shoesmith's They also create Twitter pages--here's Shoesmith81. Then they wait for the swag. Um, I mean the engagement.

It is heartening to see a commercially-minded queuer. Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Shoesmith's idea is that he will use the launch of iPhone 5 to launch himself and his power to get companies to give him things. So, claiming that he will be entirely cash-free as he bunks down in one of London's prettier areas, he is asking companies to send him stuff to keep him alive and offer him sponsorships.

You might be astounded to hear how generous today's organizations of capital can be. Skype sent him a Webcam with which he can film all the excitement. And today, he is reporting that a company called Cyber Candy is sending him some treats to warm the difficult nights ahead. He also reports that that he has received a box of garden gnomes. And a Chevy.

His blog doesn't seem to offer too much about the precise moment when he intends to pitch his tent and his personality and expose both to the outside world. He does admit, however, that he loves camping and that he may not have a shower for some time.

He has, in the last few minutes, used the opportunity of a little TechCrunch coverage to offer to write a daily blog for the site. So one assumes, that, like Ari Gold, his commercially-attuned mind will simply drive him beyond any physical discomfort.

There will be those, not too far from my keyboard, who will be wondering whether Shoesmith might pop home for a night or two's sleep when no one is looking. There will be those who will believe that he may never pitch his tent at all.

Which is why I am indebted to the Coventry Evening Telegraph, which has written his story from a hometown perspective. It seems that Shoesmith might not have that much experience in marketing. He only quit his job as a garbage collector in June.

He now works for Medl Mobile, which is featuring his iPhone 5 experiment on its site.

Shoesmith justified his iPhone 5 experiment to the Evening Telegraph like this: "People might look at this and say that I'm being greedy, but I want to prove that it can be done in the most over-the-top way." Indeed. He also reportedly offered that "anyone can do it."

Shoesmith claims to be one of the world's finest talents at Boxhead The Zombie Wars and would like some of you to contact him and keep him company as he steels himself for a haul that might be rather long.

The intrepid queuer is aware that the iPhone 5 might launch in October, rather than September.

But with the markets crashing like an unwanted guest, it may well be that, by the time even September comes along, fame will be the only currency worth having.