Friday, February 02, 2007

Should Cartoon Network Pay...?

This story about Cartoon Network, Turner Broadcasting and "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" is just weird...

In what is being called a mass publicity/advertising stunt there was "something" placed all around Boston causing a terror scare, Coast Guard involvement and upwards of $500,000 in response costs. These are the descriptions of the "devices" used in just one article:

"hoax device"
"suspicious package scare"
"AD campaign"
"several devices"
"fake devices"
"38 signs"

Devices? Signs? Packages? If they were just signs, I doubt there would have been a "terror scare" what were they and what was going to happen? Apparently they were also placed here in Philly, in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Seattle, Portland, Ore., Austin, Texas, and San Francisco. So the discussion has been based around whether Turner Broadcasting should have to reimburse Boston for the expense their "ad campaign" incurred -and of course they should. But why does it feel like there's more to the story?

"It is outrageous, in a post 9/11 world, that a company would use this type of marketing scheme," Mayor Thomas Menino said. "I am prepared to take any and all legal action against Turner Broadcasting and its affiliates for any and all expenses incurred." (source)

"Tobe Berkowitz, an advertising professor at Boston University, said it's easy to understand why there is a generational gap between the way the target audience for the promotional campaign reacted and the way older Bostonians reacted.

“For people who are hip and live in the world of blogs and all sorts of cool alternative media, it's one thing,” he said. “But for the rest of us ... they don't get it as a marketing or a clever event, they see it as a huge disruption of their lives.” (source)

The whole thing is just odd isn't it?

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