Feeds

Finger-wielding aliens invade Boston

Marketing campaign bombs, prompts terror alert

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

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. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Forget the beach 'n' boardwalk, check out the Santa Cruz STEVE JOBS FOUNTAIN
Reg reader snaps shot of touching tribute to Apple icon
Oz bank in comedy Heartbleed blog FAIL
Bank: 'We are now safely patched.' Customers: 'You were using OpenSSL?'
Happy 40th Playmobil: Reg looks back at small, rude world of our favourite tiny toys
Little men straddle LOHAN, attend tiny G20 Summit... ah, sweet memories...
Spanish village called 'Kill the Jews' mulls rebranding exercise
Not exactly attractive to the Israeli tourist demographic
Lego is the TOOL OF SATAN, thunders Polish priest
New minifigs like Monster Fighters are turning kids to the dark side
Dark SITH LORD 'Darth Vader' joins battle to rule, er, Ukraine
Only I can 'make an empire out of a republic' intones presidential candidate
Chinese company counters pollution by importing fresh air
Citizens line up for bags of that sweet, sweet mountain air
Google asks April Fools: Want a job? Be our 'Pokemon Master'
Mountain View is prankin' like it's 1999...
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.