Stunning Lack Of Judgement

Earlier today, a number of suspicious devices were spotted in various locations around Boston. Bomb squads were dispatched, transportation was disrupted and generally speaking, all hell busted loose. The devices, which turned out to be some sort of lights had circuit boards; some had wires dangling.

All were part of a Cartoon Network promotional stunt, according to Turner Network Television, the parent company of the Cartoon Network.

BOSTON – Nine 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 marketing 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, parent company of Cartoon Network, said the devices were part of a promotion for the TV show "Aqua Teen Hunger Force."

"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.

Police said only that they were investigating where the device came from. The Department of Homeland Security said there are no credible reports of other devices being found elsewhere in the country.

Gee, let's all shout "fire" in a crowded theater next, just for giggles. This is possibly one of the stupidest decisions a not terribly bright media has come up with in recent memory. Somebody had better lose a job over this. Probably several people. It will be interesting to see if these devices are actually found in other cities. Maybe then Turner can dispose of them properly. Bon apetite. (Hopefully Boston also sends an appropriately large bill for the costs incurred.)

UPDATE: Pictures of the device and of some of the chaos.

UPDATE: From comments and from this report it would indicate that somenone is in very serious trouble. Someone called in bogus threats about the devices. Someone will be going directly to jail without passing go. This is incredibly stupid. Turner just took a serious hit here and they had better step up and address this fast.

UPDATE: Whoa. Boston police have made an arrest according to this article that just popped on Yahoo.

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5 Responses to Stunning Lack Of Judgement

  1. Ed says:

    I just saw the Mayor of Boston on the local PBS station and they are not only looking for Turner to reimburse the city for the $750,000 in costs they caused today but also looking for criminal felony charges of 2-5 years for each incident.

    It wasn’t just the planting of the devices on bridges and subway structures but the marketers also spent much of the day calling in phony bomb threats with the locations. Someone’s going to jail for this one.

  2. Gaius says:

    They called in threats? Oh hell yeah someone’s going to do time for this.

  3. Ed says:

    The mayor said they called in hourly. At least he thinks they were the marketing team. I’m sure more will come out soon. But yes, it is a stunning lack of judgemet.

  4. stiknstein says:

    A Quote from an interview with the Guy that owns the marketing firm:

    “While guerilla marketing is mostly done in bigger and busier cities, it can be even more effective in smaller markets where there is the novelty element involved …….You can still make a very big splash in New York or San Francisco but, the campaign needs to be bigger and louder.”

  5. Gaius says:

    What an asshat.

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