One Finger Panic

Photo: Adult Swim (Cartoon Network)

THIS JUST IN: “Boston To Soon Get Basic Cable!”

I don’t get it. Comments like this:

“I just think this is outrageous, what they’ve done … It’s all about corporate greed.” [Boston Mayor Thomas Menino]

“Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis called it “unconscionable” that the marketing campaign was executed in a post 9/11 era. “It’s a foolish prank on the part of Turner Broadcasting,” he said. “In the environment nowadays … we really have to look at the motivation of the company here and why this happened.”

Story from

Looks like our home town gang at Turner is in hot water with, oh, several cities. With displays that were, reportedly, up for a couple of weeks bringing on this scare just recently.

This begs the question: what things, with and without lights, have you called the bomb squad out on in Atlanta recently? Has anyone seen any of these little babies in Atlanta?

Lot’s of interesting posts available from our Boston Bureau

It’s even on

20 Comments so far

  1. Thomas (unregistered) on February 1st, 2007 @ 2:45 am

    There’s one of these inside the Righteous Room, a bar at Ponce and N. Highland. It’s been there for quite a while.

  2. Chintan (unregistered) on February 1st, 2007 @ 7:31 am

    I can only assume that “the environment nowadays” refers to the cynical fearmongering of an era when threat levels are dictated by job approval ratings.

  3. Maigh (unregistered) on February 1st, 2007 @ 8:06 am

    Okay hold up.

    Before I start – I’m a Turnerite. I’m not a TOONie, but I *might* be a smidge biased.

    That said, here’s the press release issued by Phil Kent, Chairman and CEO of Turner Brodcasting:

    “We apologize to the citizens of Boston that part of a marketing campaign was mistaken for a public danger. We appreciate the gravity of this situation and, like any responsible company would, are putting all necessary resources toward understanding the facts surrounding it as quickly as possible. As soon as we realized that an element of the campaign was being mistaken for something potentially dangerous, appropriate law enforcement officials were notified and through Federal law enforcement channels, we identified the specific locations of the advertisements in all 10 cities in which they are posted. We also directed the third-party marketing firm who posted the advertisements to take them down immediately. We appreciate the commitment demonstrated by the Boston police department and other law enforcement agencies, as well as the Massachusetts Governor’s Office, and deeply regret the hardships experienced as a result of this incident.”

    That’s right kids, 10 cities. So what? So only one city freaked. I’m just sayin’.

  4. james (unregistered) on February 1st, 2007 @ 9:35 am

    i am trying to figure out how anyone could mistake that thing for a bomb???

  5. wayne (unregistered) on February 1st, 2007 @ 10:05 am

    Simply brilliant. Turner pays a couple grand for a few Lite-Bright boxes – then a couple million to defend/settle a lawsuit in Mass. In return? Pub valued at a hundred million dollars. That may be the greatest return on ad spend EVER.

  6. Seth (unregistered) on February 1st, 2007 @ 10:47 am

    The “ads” look a little different in the daytime, but it’s still a lite brite.

    Also, does anyone have pictures of them here in town?

  7. abby (unregistered) on February 1st, 2007 @ 11:09 am

    Neon versions of those are a lot of the bars around here – highlander and the local, too, thomas. I’ve been listening to the radio and watching the news and didn’t realize it was these signs that were the bombs!

    I would think it’s pretty clear that it’s a sign, but if “only college students who smoke marijuana” watch the show, maybe not.

    I bet the “bombs” show up on ebay soon.

  8. Seth (unregistered) on February 1st, 2007 @ 11:42 am
  9. Seth (unregistered) on February 1st, 2007 @ 11:45 am

    Sorry for that. Should’ve hyperlinked the URL. Will try to fix.

  10. Maigh (unregistered) on February 1st, 2007 @ 11:55 am
  11. Maigh (unregistered) on February 1st, 2007 @ 1:18 pm

    Continued brilliance:

    “In a news conference, Rich told reporters he had advised his clients not to discuss the incident. Stevens and Berdovsky took the podium and said they were taking questions only about haircuts in the 1970s. ”

    – CNN

  12. abby (unregistered) on February 1st, 2007 @ 1:22 pm

    maigh, i had never seen that site before — thank you!

  13. Maigh (unregistered) on February 1st, 2007 @ 1:25 pm

    The awesomeness continues…

  14. Maigh (unregistered) on February 1st, 2007 @ 1:37 pm

    And here are some pictures of the signs around, to satisfy that request:

  15. John (unregistered) on February 1st, 2007 @ 2:42 pm

    post 911 world = idiot americans in constant state of paranoia for the rest of the history of humanity.

  16. james (unregistered) on February 1st, 2007 @ 2:56 pm

    the more i read about this, the more the reaction of the mass and boston authorities just seems silly to me.

    i cannot believe they have arrested these kids now and charged them with a felony.

  17. Seth (unregistered) on February 1st, 2007 @ 3:24 pm

    Does anyone else see the irony in the fact that the character depicted in the “devices” is named “Err“?

  18. Eric (unregistered) on February 1st, 2007 @ 6:16 pm

    Insane, huh? Having grown up in New England everything becomes a big production, so blowing this up into a whole ordeal isn’t a shock. Great marketing. Before I even saw what the story was, I saw the picture and said to my wife, “hey that’s the Aqua Teen dude.”

  19. Maigh (unregistered) on February 2nd, 2007 @ 12:20 pm

    Apparently no one at all, Seth. WUWT?

    In related news:

    New York Barely Blinked At Ad That Panicked Boston — The Big Apple’s neighbor to the north was brought to a halt Wednesday when some harmless blinking signs advertising a cartoon were mistaken for bombs. New York City’s 911 operators logged no calls – not a single one – when the identical devices depicting in lights a character from “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” were planted around Manhattan and Brooklyn several weeks ago. 38 of the 40 signs hung in New York disappeared, presumably swiped by cultish fans of the show that airs on Cartoon Network

    – The Los Angeles Times

  20. Jon (unregistered) on February 5th, 2007 @ 6:43 am

    Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis called it “unconscionable” that the marketing campaign was executed in a post 9/11 era. “It’s a foolish prank on the part of Turner Broadcasting,” he said. “In the environment nowadays … we really have to look at the motivation of the company here and why this happened.”

    What the hell is this guy talking about? Does he even know what happened or did he read a few headlines and assume Turner actually planted real explosive devices? Any idiot can take one look at these things and tell they’re not malicious devices….Well any idiot who doesn’t live in Boston. ;)

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