Turner Broadcasting’s Cartoon Network hired New York guerilla marketeer Interference, Inc. to promote the film spinoff of a new late night cartoon program Aqua Teen Hunger Force, a cartoon series running since December of 2000 about the adventures of three anthropomorphic fast food items living in New Jersey.
Interference arranged to plant LED images of two Mooninites (secondary character adversaries of the show’s heroes) around Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Seattle, Portland, Austin, San Francisco and Philadelphia to publicize the film.
Other cities shrugged off the Mooninite threat, but Boston officials first took two weeks to notice the signs, then panicked, halting highway, bridge, and river traffic, closing down Boston University, having the bomb squad detonate a sign, and overall spending half a million dollars on this nonsense.
Video: How to Shut Down Boston
Boston is charging the freelance artists who erected the signs with a newly defined crime of placing a hoax device which causes panic. Mark Frauenfelder get it right:
the ones to blame are the Boston city officials, whose astoundingly incompetent response to the report of a suspicious device triggered the panic. The people of Boston should be clamoring for the resignation of the mayor and the head of the department of security for being the only city in the ten-city ad campaign that didn’t notice the signs hanging in plain sight for two full weeks and then misidentifying them in a way that caused widespread panic.
Now these shamefaced bureaucrats are rounding up scapegoats and asking Turner to pay for the damages caused by their own ineptitude. Talk about a hoax.
NYM awards Boston the 2007 Mayor Ray Nagin Prize for municipal incompetence combined with pomposity.