Feeds

Finger-wielding aliens invade Boston

Marketing campaign bombs, prompts terror alert

Build a business case: developing custom apps

A marketing campaign that planted electronic devices throughout Boston was so successful it brought parts of the city to a virtual standstill after authorities mistook them for terrorist bombs.

Picture of Mooninite lightboard

The devices, promoting an adult cartoon, contained blinking lights that bore the image of an extraterrestrial brandishing the middle finger. After officials mistook the devices for something more nefarious, network TV pundits spent hours pondering which America-hating zealot may have planted them.

Turner Broadcasting finally fessed up that the devices were part of its campaign to market the late-night cartoon Aqua Teen Hunger Force, on its Adult Swim network. Among those reporting the story was CNN, which (like Turner) is owned by Time Warner.

The scare prompted the closure of Boston University, at least two bridges and passage from the Charles River into Boston Harbor. The US Northern Command also monitored the investigation from its headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Turner said the devices had been been in place for up to three weeks in nine cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta and San Francisco. While Turner apologized profusely for the mix-up we are reminded of the adage that there's no such thing as bad press. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
Drunkards warned: If you can't walk in a straight line, don't shop online, you fool!
Put it away boys. Cover them up ladies. Your credit cards, we mean
Cops baffled by riddle of CHICKEN who crossed ROAD
'Officers were unable to determine Chicken's intent'
Murder accused DIDN'T ask Siri 'how to hide my roommate'
US court hears of cached browser image - not actual request
Why your mum was WRONG about whiffy tattooed people
They're a future source of RENEWABLE ENERGY
Chomp that sausage: Brits just LOVE scoffing a Full Monty
Sales of traditional brekkie foods soar as hungry folk get their mitts greasy
Nuts to your poncey hipster coffees, I want a TESLA ELECTRO-CAFE
Examining the frothy disconnect in indie cafe culture
Ex-Apple man Sam Sung - for it is he - sticks namebadge on eBay
Stump up via tat bazaar, do a good thing for ill kids
Check your Clungene, Irish women warned
Have a quick shufti, you may not be pregnant after all
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.