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  1. #1
    Network Rep & ABW Ambassador Carolyn - ShareASale's Avatar
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    Marketing Campaign Gone Awry - LOVE IT (Sorry Boston)
    Boston Devices a Cartoon Marketing Ploy

    By KEN MAGUIRE
    Associated Press Writer
    Published January 31, 2007, 5:21 PM CST

    BOSTON -- Ten blinking electronic devices planted at bridges and other spots in Boston threw a scare into the city Wednesday in what turned out to be a publicity campaign for a late-night cable cartoon. At least one of the devices depicts a character giving the finger.

    Highways, bridges and a section of the Charles River were shut down and bomb squads were sent in before authorities declared the devices were harmless.


    "It's a hoax -- and it's not funny," said Gov. Deval Patrick.

    Turner Broadcasting, a division of Time Warner Inc. and parent of Cartoon Network, said the devices were part of a promotion for the TV show "Aqua Teen Hunger Force," a surreal series about a talking milkshake, a box of fries and a meatball.

    "The packages in question are magnetic lights that pose no danger," Turner said in a statement. It said the devices have been in place for two to three weeks in 10 cities: Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Seattle, Portland, Ore., Austin, Texas, San Francisco and Philadelphia.

    "We regret that they were mistakenly thought to pose any danger," the company said.

    The marketing company responsible for the campaign, Interference Inc., had no immediate comment. A woman who answered the phone at the New York-based firm's offices on Wednesday afternoon said the firm's CEO was out of town and would not be able to comment until Thursday.

    Police said only that they were investigating where the device came from, but an angry Mayor Thomas Menino said a stiff penalty will be pursued against whoever was responsible for the devices.

    "It's about keeping a city on edge. It's about public safety," he said.

    Homeland Security Department spokesman Russ Knocke praised Boston authorities for sharing their knowledge quickly with Washington officials and the public.

    "Hoaxes are a tremendous burden on local law enforcement and counter-terrorism resources and there's absolutely no place for them in a post-9/11 world," Knocke said.

    Authorities said some of the objects looked like circuit boards or had wires hanging from them.

    The first device was found at a subway and bus station underneath Interstate 93, forcing the shutdown of the station and the highway.

    Later, police said four calls, all around 1 p.m., reported devices at the Boston University Bridge and the Longfellow Bridge, both of which span the Charles River, at a Boston street corner and at the Tufts-New England Medical Center.

    The package near the Boston University bridge was found attached to a structure beneath the span, authorities said.

    Subway service across the Longfellow Bridge between Boston and Cambridge was briefly suspended, and Storrow Drive was closed as well. A similar device was found Wednesday evening just north of Fenway Park, police spokesman Eddy Chrispin said.

    Wanda Higgins, a 47-year-old Weymouth resident and a nurse at Massachusetts General Hospital, heard about the threat as she watched television news coverage while preparing to leave work at 4 p.m.

    "I saw the bomb squad guys carrying a paper bag with their bare hands," Higgins said. "I knew it couldn't be too serious."

    Messages seeking additional comment from the Atlanta-based Cartoon Network were left with several publicists.

    "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" is a cartoon with a cultish following that airs as part of the Adult Swim late-night block of programs for adults on the Cartoon Network. A feature length film based on the show is slated for release March 23.

    The cartoon also includes two trouble-making, 1980s-graphic-like characters called "mooninites," named Ignignokt and Err -- who were pictured on the suspicious devices. They are known for making the obscene hand gesture depicted on the devices.

    Copyright 2007, The Associated Press
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  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador meadowmufn's Avatar
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    Well, apparently not that many people in Boston have seen the show, or they would've recognized a Mooninite. However, who's NOT going to know about the show now? It's national news. Good or bad, they definitely got some publicity. It's funny that there wasn't a problem in the other cities they were running the promotion in.
    -Don't criticize anyone til you've walked a mile in their shoes. Then when you do criticize them, you'll be a mile away and have their shoes.
    - Silence is golden. Duct Tape is silver.

  3. #3
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    Good or bad, they definitely got some publicity.
    They say that, as long as they talk about you (good or bad), they will always remember you!

    But, something to think about.

    Seven years ago, even if you was Walter Matthau and you knew Jack Lemmon, you could get in big in trouble with the law, if you spotted Jack on an airplane and said Hi, to him. (Hi, Jack)

    Now you can easily get on a bigger trouble with the law , just for carrying an innocent tweezer, nail clipper, cuticle trimmer, scissors or nail file on a manicure gift kit, on any airplane.

    Not to mention just a regular bottle of water, or any of the high heels shoes from the 70's.

    So these days, before you even try to come up with a unique idea of your own to promote your new affiliate marketing creative work, you better think twice if you want to get your traffic from your new marketing creative work , or from CNN .

    .
    .
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    .
    .
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    .
    .
    .

    Btw, do you remember the "Back to the Future" trilogy?

    Well......

    In the first movie they need the plutonium necessary to generate the 1.21 gigawatts of electricity required to make the return jump in time.

    But, as an affiliate marketer, let's suppose that you come up with the idea of adding some googlonium to your meta tags, in order to rise to the top on .

    Have You thought about the consequences?

    ...

  4. #4
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    I have never heard of the show or the company and since I was travelling on those roads this morning I didn't find it funny.

    Just remember what city Logan airport is attached to and how it was involved in 9/11 and that some of those terrorists lived in Boston and the surrounding areas for a time.

    I'm really too angry at these posts to type more, because if you don't understand why the city was concerned, and think what happened is funny then you really don't get much.

    When I heard what might have been going on this morning, I was sick to my stomach, as I waited in gridlock finding out what was going on.

  5. #5
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    I'm really too angry at these posts to type more, because if you don't understand why the city was concerned, and think what happened is funny then you really don't get much.
    Just in case you're refereeing to my post above!

    First!

    Yes, I do understand why the city was concerned, because at these times and age, any little prank that used to be funny before, now can cause a mayor headache for the entire nation.

    Second!

    Yes, I do find it funny because even in..... (I'm not going to elaborate on this one), I am old enough to just try to make a joke, than to try to change anyone point of view.

    Third!

    Believe me, I get more than I can swallow here, there and everywhere, but by now, I have decided that I only have three choices, beat them, join them, or just keep on waiting. So I decided to keep on waiting, but on the meant time, I will try to not to get too upset about the real that is going on this planet.

    I don't support parasites, I don't support dictators, but a few people here do it, so I have two choices, ignore their posts, or start a flame war, so I decided to just ignore their posts, but if you have a problem with my previous post on this thread, I am willing to say I am sorry to you, because you read it wrong, I can agree on your feelings on that one, but before you judge me by my posts, I think you better know me in person, or at least know all the that I have to put up with for the last few decades, without a real end in sight.

    No hard feelings on my part about your post, but just in case you thought wrong about my post, just think......

  6. #6
    Network Rep & ABW Ambassador Carolyn - ShareASale's Avatar
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    Just my two cents, I love Boston. It's another one of those cities that has so much heart and so much history... Saw those guys got arrested this morning, which goes to show that there really is such a thing as responsible, ethical marketing!

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    Radio show here in Omaha talked about it for 15 minutes this morning. Regardless of the outcome, it is priceless advertising for the movie. The two guys arrested are not thinking that, I'm sure.
    Ron Bechdolt | Affiliate Program Management Consultant
    7 Days A Week Marketing

  8. #8
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    Check out the picture of these 2 guys. USA Today frontpage pics don't last long.
    http://www.usatoday.com

    ADDED
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iv9s_fz0K2I
    Last edited by Adam Ward; February 1st, 2007 at 01:26 PM.

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador meadowmufn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carolyn - ShareASale
    Just my two cents, I love Boston. It's another one of those cities that has so much heart and so much history... Saw those guys got arrested this morning, which goes to show that there really is such a thing as responsible, ethical marketing!
    Very true. I am wondering why a regular billboard with the lit up character wouldn't have sufficed or why they didn't talk to the cities beforehand to make sure there wouldn't be problems with it.

    Aunt Lily, I didn't find the stunt or the chaos it caused "funny" and I understand why the city was concerned. I'm sorry if my post gave you the wrong impression.

    My dad used to work for U.S. Customs (now part of Homeland Security) and was first on the scene to some real bombings at LAX decades ago, so I know what those law enforcement officials had to deal with. They were very fortunate it was just a hoax because it could've been much, much worse.

    Any "unusual" packages left anywhere should be reported in this day and age and it was poor judgment for the advertising agency to not realize the consequences. Perhaps it was a poor choice of words on my part when I said it was funny that they didn't find the devices in the other cities.. more like strange or unusual. I would think New York would definitely be on heightened alert and I found it unusual there were no reports there on those devices. It's actually kind of scary if you think about it.
    -Don't criticize anyone til you've walked a mile in their shoes. Then when you do criticize them, you'll be a mile away and have their shoes.
    - Silence is golden. Duct Tape is silver.

  10. #10
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    In my opinion, the campaign that's gone awry here is the ongoing political campaign to sell us terror. Would anyone be so afraid of blinking lights and bottled water if not for the politicians and their daily sound bites?
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  11. #11

  12. #12
    Outsourced Program Manager Affiliate Eagle's Avatar
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    I am just gald it was a hoax...These guys are not only famous but infamous!

    Emilio
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  13. #13
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Ah give em a break as they were just misguided affiliates of some NYC Adwhore operation. Surprised the JOLLY one didn't just hook some batteries up the one looking like the Johnny Depp Pirate after 5 years in a jamacan dungon. Making those dredlocks light up & dance would have been more PC (and a hoot) then the moonite's giving the world the finger.

    I really think it was just a way Turner & Co could deflect East Coast attention away from the San Francisco Values on display today. Tune into Leno and get the real scoop.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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  14. #14
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    Quote Originally Posted by HardwareGeek
    LED light from walmart = $19.95
    Buying bomb scare item lookalike = priceless*
    *actually current bid is $2k

  15. #15
    Affiliate Manager MINDsprinter's Avatar
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    Did you see their press conference?? Oh man, just stick it to the media. Priceless is right!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2fGzmphx4U

    And the confused Fox News commentary is even better.
    Jason Rosenbaum
    Affiliate Manager
    MINDsprinting

  16. #16
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Ted is priceless, lives in a world of his own! Following TT for many years, I am not surprised that he would not think about the possible fall-out of this campaign. In T's world, there IS no terrorism or security issue. Only Ted!!
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  17. #17
    Newbie NewBadStyle's Avatar
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    I remember when I was trying to make it as a film maker years ago and we resorted to "guerilla" style of work to get noticed and get our message across.
    This was before 2001 so our antics were considered funny, amusing and some even thought we were brilliant.

    But if i did that stuff now i would be locked up.

    It's horrible what happened, but I do feel kind of sorry for these guys and others that have had good intentions turn out to bite them in the a becasue of something in the past that they had no control over.

    Hopefully they will be handed a communtiy service sentence that lets them use their skills to help instead of hurt.

  18. #18
    Pimp Duck popdawg's Avatar
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    http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNew...=Entertainment

    Well that was a pretty pricey campaign.
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    Been away, now I'm back. Not as much, but I'm back & starting from scratch. Where I was, was fantastic. Where I am now, less so. Things have changed, become harder. So have I. Game ON!!!
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  19. #19
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    To try to destroy the entire lives of these two men, over an overblown incident that caused a few hours' worth of gridlock is injustice to the extreme! A felony conviction destroys the lives of most people, long after their release from prison: It can be nearly impossible to get a decent job, may close off other opportunities, and exposes the convict to the dangers inherent in prison (including exposure to AIDS and other diseases).

    To threaten them with that, for UNINTENTIONALLY causing a few hours' worth of inconvenience?! For an act they didn't expect to cause more than the raise of an eyebrow? Barbaric. Simply and utterly barbaric.

    Hopefully they will be handed a communtiy service sentence that lets them use their skills to help instead of hurt.
    I strongly think they should get NO sentence or even a conviction. There was no hoax (in a legal sense) based on the reports that have come out! It's not a "hoax" when the guys apparently made absolutely NO claims that there was anything bad about their signs. And so far nobody has said the people who called in were actually co-conspirators.

    Boston's law enforcement needs to just admit the facts--they overreacted. And, on the hoax-device charge, they have no case. That crime simply wasn't committed, based on the articles currently out. That people mistook not-bombs for bombs, does not in any way show an intent to have such results.

    As for "disorderly conduct," I wouldn't call them guilty of that, either. The city's overreaction caused the disorder, no matter how justified the city may claim that overreaction was.

    Even some Bostonians realize that it was a crazy overreaction:
    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/...n/4519787.html
    Officials defended their reaction Thursday even as two men charged in the case, and some residents, mocked the response as overblown.

    Young Bostonians familiar with the unconventional marketing tactics used by many companies tended to see the city's reaction as unmitigated hysteria.

    Tracy O'Connor, 34, a retail manager, called the police response "silly and insane," contrasting it with that in other cities where no one reported concerns about the devices an advertising gimmick for the Cartoon Network show "Aqua Teen Hunger Force."

    "We're the laughing stock," she said.

  20. #20
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leader
    To try to destroy the entire lives of these two men, over an overblown incident that caused a few hours' worth of gridlock is injustice to the extreme! A felony conviction destroys the lives of most people, long after their release from prison: It can be nearly impossible to get a decent job, may close off other opportunities, and exposes the convict to the dangers inherent in prison (including exposure to AIDS and other diseases).

    To threaten them with that, for UNINTENTIONALLY causing a few hours' worth of inconvenience?! For an act they didn't expect to cause more than the raise of an eyebrow? Barbaric. Simply and utterly barbaric.

    I strongly think they should get NO sentence or even a conviction. There was no hoax (in a legal sense) based on the reports that have come out! It's not a "hoax" when the guys apparently made absolutely NO claims that there was anything bad about their signs. And so far nobody has said the people who called in were actually co-conspirators.

    Boston's law enforcement needs to just admit the facts--they overreacted. And, on the hoax-device charge, they have no case. That crime simply wasn't committed, based on the articles currently out. That people mistook not-bombs for bombs, does not in any way show an intent to have such results.

    As for "disorderly conduct," I wouldn't call them guilty of that, either. The city's overreaction caused the disorder, no matter how justified the city may claim that overreaction was.

    Even some Bostonians realize that it was a crazy overreaction:
    Leader, I agree with that entire post you made.

    But unfortunately, after that 9/11, we all the decent people have to keep an eye on everything we say and do, we can't no longer even try to play a joke or a prank on some places, otherwise we may end up in Gitmo.

    I would not even be surprised if one day we read on the news, that some poor soul accidentally farted on a crowded elevator because of stomach problem, and the wholle city was evacuated, because some paranoid citizen called HLS, because that person smells like he was carrying a dangerous gas bomb.

    Think about that!.

  21. #21
    Affiliate Manager MINDsprinter's Avatar
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    Agreed! Boston overreacted and that's that. Apparently, the same marketing campaign was used on the same day in 30 other cities throughout the country, yet no one else had to call the bomb squad!

    I ran into this on digg: http://www.dyewell.com/saveboston/

    Jason Rosenbaum
    Affiliate Manager
    MINDsprinting

  22. #22
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    I agree. If postering is a crime in Boston, maybe a fine, but holding them accountable for a hysterical overreaction would be a huge miscarriage of justice.
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

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