Boston and the ATHF: the day after
So I watched the TV coverage all day long of the Boston "bombs" that turned out to be electronic devices promoting Cartoon Network's Aqua Teen Hunger Force. And I think it was screwed up on every angle (media, Turner Broadcasting), but the people who deserve the least amount of second guessing from us are the Boston police and city officials.
I mean, they were doing their job. We can't expect every police officer, every city official, every politician, to be hip to what ATHF is. And even if they were, so what? A bomb can't be placed in something with a wacky cartoon character on it? Yeah, they were up for a couple of weeks, but in this day and age you can't be too careful, especially since these things were put in some really odd public places.
The people to blame most are Turner and the marketing company they hired, for not getting this information to the city beforehand or at least to CNN really early (and for not thinking this entire campaign through, and the news stations in the Boston area. They not only didn't know what the Cartoon Network was, they have absolutely no concept of what viral marketing or guerilla marketing is. Even today they are calling guerilla marketing a "new way of advertising." Gah.
I wonder why this didn't cause a panic in NYC or the other cities where the ads were placed?
And to see the raised middle finger of the ATHF blurred out on all of the newscasts...well, that was hysterical. Lost Remote has some great coverage, as does Boston.com and Bostonist. Here is the official statement from Turner.
Update: the Adult Swim site has an apology too.
Update on the Update: Press conference from the guys arrested. "That's not a hair question, I'm sorry." I wonder if these guys will have a comedy deal before the week is over?