Thursday, February 1, 2007 UDPATE: The young men responsible for posting the devices in question are being arraigned in Charlestown Municipal Court this morning. I overheard (actually, moved in closer to listen carefully) to a spirited discussion in my local coffee shop this morning. The overwhelming opinion is that the young men should get a slap on the wrist for being thoughtless and stupid - but Turner Broadcasting should be on the hook to compensate for the emergency response yesterday. We'll be watching (just not Aqua Teen Stupid Force.) [Original Post Below]
Suspicious objects found throughout Boston after morning bomb scare! (From Boston.com) That was the headline explaining why traffic was snarled and commuter trains were delayed all day. It explained why Boston's overtaxed bomb squad and transit police and Boston PD and the Fire Department and emergency rooms all through the region were on alert for impending doom. Al Qaeda? No. Other terrorist group? No. MARKETING GONE WRONG. Doh!
The "explanation" (copyright Boston Globe):
BREAKING NEWS: Turner Broadcasting issued an apology for causing today's series of bomb scares throughout Boston. A statement emailed to the Globe from Turner Broadcasting said: "The 'packages' in question are magnetic lights that pose no danger. They are part of an outdoor marketing campaign in 10 cities in support of Adult Swim’s animated television show Aqua Teen Hunger Force. They have been in place for two to three weeks in Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Seattle, Portland, Austin, San Francisco, and Philadelphia. Parent company Turner Broadcasting is in contact with local and federal law enforcement on the exact locations of the billboards. We regret that they were mistakenly thought to pose any danger."
Turner Broadcasting's idiot stunt is not going to win any new viewers in the Boston area. It reminds me of the idiot stunt Paramount Pictures pulled with the Mission Impossible release last year.
Now pardon my cynical little heart, but I hope that Turner Broadcasting was not involved in pointing out the "IED"-like devices for a little press. I'll withhold my judgment for now - but I'm guessing the PR department is going to be coughing up a little recompense for the City of Boston to cover the emergency response costs. I doubt they'll find a way to reach out to every angry worker (and boss) who was hours late for work because of this misguided guerrilla marketing stunt. Can't wait to castigate the local ninnies who enabled it. Stay tuned.