Monday, February 05, 2007


So Turner and Interference (bloody appropriate name for a marketing firm in this position, eh?) are going to pay $2 million dollars to the city of Boston because people freaked out about a marketing campaign.

Well, I guess that was cheaper than taking it to court.

But I want to know what's going to happen to the only two guys that were charged with anything, Berdovsky and Stevens. They were charged with "placing a hoax device to incite panic" and disorderly conduct. By the way, I'm getting this info from Wikipedia's entry on this subject, the "2007 Boston Mooninite Scare"--my favorite part of the entry is this:

"Between 2 and 3 p.m., a police analyst identified the image on the devices as an ATHF cartoon character..."

I wonder if that police analyst still has his or her job--for the analyst to identify the device as a Mooninite, he or she would then basically admit to watching subversive, terror-inducing programs, right? I mean, there's a reason ATHF doesn't air in prime time, see. The show's time slot is obviously geared toward the terrorist crowd, who are up late at night, plotting and scheming and attaching exposed battery packs to circuit boards for--advertising campaigns.

There oughta be a law--and there is!

The charge of "placing a hoax device to incite panic" sounds to me like it was made up on the spot. Does Boston or any city really have a law against that, in those words? Maybe they do, but it sounds a little improvised to me. Wait, they do have such a law:

"From Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 266 Section 102A 1/2:

(b) For the purposes of this section, the term "hoax device" shall mean any device that would cause a person reasonably to believe that such device is an infernal machine. For the purposes of this section, the term "infernal machine" shall mean any device for endangering life or doing unusual damage to property, or both, by fire or explosion, whether or not contrived to ignite or explode automatically. For the purposes of this section, the words "hoax substance" shall mean any substance that would cause a person reasonably to believe that such substance is a harmful chemical or biological agent, a poison, a harmful radioactive substance or any other substance for causing serious bodily injury, endangering life or doing unusual damage to property, or both."

What was the next step in the marketing plan?

I wonder what the payoff for this marketing plan was supposed to be. Would TV commercials have begun to appear with the images that would then supposedly make people think--"That's kinda like that shiny thing I saw on the bridge today--it made me freak the fuck out and call 911"? As it turns out, all the marketing people would've had to do was make an anonymous phone call to the police and report a "suspicious-looking device" on a bridge and bingo-bango, millions of dollars worth of publicity!

Oh well, as long as they drop the charges against Berdovsky and Stevens, all's well as far as I'm concerned. Those two will now probably have their pick of jobs at any ad agency in the country. Thanks, Ignignokt and Err!

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