Boneheads


If the devices weren’t planted under bridges and in transit terminals, this would have still been a pretty unsophisticated marketing tactic, and I would have said that we were all over-racting. But planting stuff with wires hanging out of it near major city transportation infrastructure? Unbelievably boneheaded.

Comments (18)

  1. Wine-Oh says:

    One of my good friends works for Cartoon network and he IMed me at work to give me a heads up. It was only in Boston that this issue happened. The said PR stunt has been going on for 2 weeks without issue. I think the stunt worked and people will tune in to see the show. Except me! 🙂  Oh and the news is having a field day, especially Turner’s rival Fox News…

  2. Christine says:

    Yeah we played count-the-helicopters yesterday, as we are right next to the Longfellow bridge and overlook all of Boston and Charlestown.  

    Someone’s gonna get fired over that one…

  3. Kevin Eshbach says:

    Yeah, I saw a similiary news report on that last night here on the east coast.  Initially they found the devices in Maine a few days ago and then some were found in Philadelphia.

  4. HeatherLeigh says:

    Yeah, stunt that has been done better by a number of other companies (cough..cough…ilovebees). The cartoon network version was just dumb, even without the police involvement. It sounded like something someone sketched out in a bar napkin the night before…after a few too many.

  5. Derek Bigelow says:

    Any publicity is good publicity I suppose.  ATHF is a good show though, however misguided their marketing directors are.

  6. HeatherLeigh says:

    Derek – I am going to have to take your word for that. : )

  7. Alpha Chen says:

    Considering our reaction to the publicity stunt[1], yeah, I’m going to have to agree that Boston overreacted.

    [1] http://wbztv.com/topstories/local_story_032085203.html

  8. Tim says:

    Yup, pretty stupid. But I’m guessing they’re going to be happy when the city decides not to sue and they get more publicity than they could have ever planned for. Well, once the kids read that the characters are "known for making the obscene hand gesture depicted on the devices".

  9. Matthew says:

    American ‘security’ is a crack up.

    OOO, FLASHING LIGHTS – MUST BE A BOMB!

    lol

  10. Christine says:

    Alpha Chen,

    While all of the country has reeled from 9-11, I have to admit that I was shocked at how many Bostonians died in the planes, the towers, or were otherwise personally affected by that day.  I did not arrive here until 2003 so I wasn’t here during the attack, but I have noticed that the fear of another task is almost tangible in the Boston metro area.  Many children of Bostonians settle in Manhattan and the links between the two cities are very strong (except for those flippin Yankees, we hate them).

    Call that overreaction if you will, but I’d say it’s a reasonable fear given that many Bostonians have lost loved ones once already.

    As an example, when a tall office building a block away caught on fire, people broke out of windows on the 5th floor to jump onto the roof of the attached building next door.  That fire was not an act of terrorism, but people were not going to wait calmly to find out one way or another–they were going to get out asap.  It’s better to overreact and stay safe than underreact and have hundreds or thousands of casualties.

    Christine

    P.S. And I can’t believe I’m actually defending Boston!  Blah!

  11. HeatherLeigh says:

    Tim – I think they should come up with a new charge for something like this which completely stops traffic.  We need some new laws about planting electronic devices in public places.

    Hey Matthew – why don’t you tell us where you live so we can make fun of you too. Come on, it’s only fair. I don’t think you can judge if you haven’t gone through something like 9-11. Seriously.

    Christine – well said.

  12. Matthew says:

    >> Hey Matthew – why don’t you tell us where you live so we can make fun of you too. Come on, it’s only fair. I don’t think you can judge if you haven’t gone through something like 9-11. Seriously.

    I live in Australia. Quite close to Indonesia – a home to many of our Islamic terrorist friends. We get the same rhetoric here about terrorism, due to our (or more accurately, our prime minister’s) alliance with Mr Bush.

    Nonetheless, you must admit that in this specific case there were a number of circumstances suggesting the level of the risk:

    a) The devices had been installed around the country for TWO WEEKS in TEN cities. You have to ask why it was a terrorist threat in one city and not the other nine. Was it because the first was rational and the others not? Or vice versa?

    b) The devices had flashing lights with characters on them. This may be normal in Hollywood movies, but I am guessing is not modus operandi for the average Terrorist.

    >> Tim – I think they should come up with a new charge for something like this which completely stops traffic.  We need some new laws about planting electronic devices in public places.

    Who would you charge? The people who planted the device? The people who raised the false alarm? The people who responded to the false alarm?

    In Australia we have people who put up banners off pedestrian bridges over roads. They might say ‘Happy Birthday Bob’ or ‘Jane Will You Marry Me’. What if a ‘concerned citizen’ thinks ‘what if a bomb is behind the banner’ – I better ring the policy? Who would you charge then?

    I suggest reading http://www.schneier.com/blog/ . Insightful stuff, great commentary on current security ‘threatre’ (seen in America particularly, but you get the same stuff in Australia too – but to a lesser extent).

  13. Matthew says:

    Christine and HeatherLeigh,

    Whoops, pressed Submit a little too soon.

    I did forget to mention in my immediately previous post that I apologise for my initial post. I in no way meant to make light of the 9/11 situation, and in retrospect I can see how it could be read that way. For that I apologise.

    I am not saying I agree with what you say ( http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2007/02/nonterrorist_em.html#comments is closer to my POV ), but I see now that my initial post (not the one immediately prior to this one, its further up) was inappropriate. I hereby apologise for it.

  14. HeatherLeigh says:

    Matthew – thanks for saying that.

    I think the reason Bostonians were senstivie to it was because one of the 9-11 planes originated from Boston. I haven’t thoroughly read the coversage, but my guess is that all the traffic backups had to do with the police presence, not the actual devices (which are different than banners…electronics, that is).

    I’m no psychologist, but fear is a weird thing. It’s not logical. You feel it and can’t help but react. I admit that I have had a couple things I have reacted to since 9-11 that I otherwise would not have. Case in point: my fear of flying (which I had before 9-11). I know it’s not a logical fear. I have to bring some Atavan with me on each flight regardless. Would I like the fewar to go away. Sure!

    I’m not making any comments on political stuffl; I can just tell you what it’s like to be an American after 9-11 and I am sure it was MUCH worse for many other people.

  15. Tim says:

    Looks like Boston needs to get moving fast, <a href="http://www.imediaconnection.com/news/13521.asp">the numbers are going up for Adult Swim already</a>.

  16. Tim says:

    Sorry, the source for that story is <http://www.imediaconnection.com/news/13521.asp&gt;

    And why, exactly, am I so bad at HTML?

  17. Matthew says:

    Now this is a rational response. Note the lack of hysteria and rhetoric.

    http://www.dailynews.com/ci_5180780