Adult Swim promotion causes terrorist scare

TV Arts

David
from broadcasting and cable

Turner Behind Mystery Packages That Sparked Terrorism Scare
By John Eggerton 

Turner said Wednesday it was behind mysterious packages that caused a
terrorism scare in Boston.

CNN reported a statement from co-owned Turner taking responsibility
and saying it was part of a marketing campaign for its Adult Swim
cartoon block. 
  
Turner in its statement said:  "The “packages” in question are
magnetic lights that pose no danger.  They are part of an outdoor
marketing campaign in 10 cities in support of Adult Swim’s animated
television show Aqua Teen Hunger Force.   They have been in place for
two to three weeks in Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta,
Seattle, Portland, Austin, San Francisco, and Philadelphia.  Parent
company Turner Broadcasting is in contact with local and federal law
enforcement on the exact locations of the billboards. We regret that
they were mistakenly thought to pose any danger.Calling it an active
investigation, Edward Davis, Boston Police Commissioner, would only
say there were no indications it was a terrorist act." 

Reporting on suspicious packages found around Boston on Wednesday, CNN
said that they appeared to be a hoax, and one anchor even speculated
it might even be a "publicity stunt for a cartoon show."

CNN's speculation came after the network reported that one of the
packages contained a black board with pegs and a cartoon character
that resembled one of the Mooninite Marauder characters from the Aqua
Teen Hunger Force cartoon show. Initial reports had been that it
resembled Nickelodeon's SpongeBob Squarepants. 

Prank or not, it was being taken very seriously by police and Homeland
Security. "Two to five years for each infraction," said the mayor of
Boston. "We're not playing around."

CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer led the 5 p.m. news cycle by calling it a
"promotion gone wrong" and a "massive, massive, misunderstanding." It
was not clear whether CNN had already established on-air that Cartoon
is co-owned with CNN. 

CNN and Cartoon spokespeople had not returned calls at press time..
                                            
Patty
I read a few news stories about this, and I really wonder what
the marketing company was thinking--and anyone at Cartoon
Network, if they knew exactly how the campaign was going to
be implemented. "Hey, let's fasten some unapproved boxes with
blinking lights on bridges! People will see them there!" Sheesh...

I don't understand how these things could have been around
for weeks without anyone noticing them until today.


Patty
                                            
Tee
The company who placed them probably phoned it in. It was a bid for more 
eyes and talk about a product. Pretty successful if you ask me.
                   Tee Jay
                                            
Dano
We'll see.  After we know what penalties result.
                                            
Garondo
But just look at the thing, I don't think I would be scared and think
it a bomb, I would think it was a child's toy:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070201/ap_on_re_us/suspicious_devices;_ylt=Ai5fIacmuxpddMiOIFEWLRKs0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA2Z2szazkxBHNlYwN0bQ--
                                            
Dano
There is more to this story than just the foolish promotion.

http://news.bostonherald.com/localRegional/view.bg?articleid=180349
                                            
Steven
But you're looking at it relatively close up, and for an extended time.

If you were driving your car across a highway bridge at 30 mph, and just 
happened to glance up and see a mysterious box with blinking lights 
attached to one of the steel girders in the distance for just a split 
second, who knows what might go through your mind.  Especially if your 
mind is already on edge from having heard endless news stories about 
Improvised Explosive Devices and Terrorism.

That's one of the main causes of UFO sightings--people look up, see a 
mysterious light in the sky for just a moment, and then their 
imagination goes to work embellishing it.  They will swear to its 
distance and speed even though they couldn't possibly judge it that 
accurately.
                                            
Travoltron
Oh yes, because terrorists' bombs all have blinking lights.  I suppose 
you think they all have little digital timers on them counting down and 
perhaps a blue and red wire for people to agonize over which to cut.

These things looked nothing like bombs!
Check it out here (before it gets taken down):
http://www.zebbler.com/friends/ATHF/ATHFZebblerMission1websm.mov
                                            
Steven
Try the following experiment:  Take a screencap of one of these bombs, 
attach it to a telephone pole near your house, then drive by it at 
around 30 mph and see how easy it is for you to figure out what it is 
with just a one-second glance.
                                            
Travoltron
You have an interesting theory, but what kind of person just sees 
something they can't see clearly and jumps to the conclusion that it's a 
bomb (of all things)?

Now we're supposed to ban all things that might resemble what an average 
Joe imagines a bomb might look like?  Isn't this one of those situations 
where the cliche "The terrorists win" is appropriate?
                                            
Garondo
And you would think we live in some kind of utopian world where the
streets aren't littered with trash, and all sorts of things.



..
Garondo Marondo!
                                            
Arnold
Plus I'd like to know how many people actually know what real bombs look 
like.

Arnold Kim
                                            
Dano
Exactly.  It's not so much what they were as where they were placed.
                                            
wdstarrpanixcom
Patty Winter ([email protected]) said:


I suspect that plenty of people saw them.  And tuned them out.
                                            
David
Clearly the "if you see something, say something" campaign is working.