Feeds

20 injured at LG phone giveaway as PR stunt turns into freetard riot

Korean balloon frenzy turns shooty

Top three mobile application threats

LG has cancelled a series of publicity stunts promoting its new G2 smartphone after 20 Korean consumers were hurt as they attempted to get a free handset.

The PR boffins at LG decided it would be a good idea to release 100 helium-filled balloons, each carrying a voucher entitling the recipient to claim their 950,000 won ($852.54) smartphone. It then took to social media to promote the event, inviting people to witness the balloons' release and encouraging them to grab one of the vouchers.

But what must have sounded like a good idea in the marketing meeting quickly dissolved into chaos. People aren’t stupid. They figured out that the only way to get the voucher was to burst the balloons, and they showed up equipped to do so with BB guns, knives on sticks, and other tools.

When the balloons were released, the crowd surged for them, and some participants fired BB guns into the air to try and pop their targets. Korea Times reports that in the ensuing scrum, 20 people were injured.

“Some were using BB guns to shoot the balloons. As far as I know, there were only some 20 security guards. LG should have placed more security personnel as the event was already promoted via social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and leading local portals. Some of the injured were hospitalized,” a blogger who was in the crowd wrote.

LG told the paper that it had had difficulty in controlling the crowd of frenzied bargain-seekers and would be fully compensating those injured in the scrum. It is also cancelling similar events planned for the future.

As PR stunts go, this is one of the most ill-thought-out we've heard of in recent years, but at least no one died. It has happened before.

Back in 2007, when Nintendo's Wii was the current object of techno-lust, US radio station KDND promised listeners a free console for whoever could drink the most water on-air. The contest, entitled "Hold Your Wee for a Wii," resulted in the death of the winner from water intoxication.

Thankfully LG's event didn't go that far awry, but El Reg suspects someone in marketing is looking for a new job, nevertheless. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
US mobile firms cave on kill switch, agree to install anti-theft code
Slow and kludgy rollout will protect corporate profits
Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen
Fat-fingered fanbois rejoice over Chinternet snaps
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER
Too much pixel dust for your strained eyeballs to handle
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
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.