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Guerrilla Marketing Gone Bad in Boston
Turner Broadcasting apologized "for a marketing campaign that sparked Boston's biggest security scare since the September 11, 2001, attacks -- closing bridges, shutting major roads and putting hundreds of police on alert." The "outdoor marketing campaign" promoting an Adult Swim cartoon "had been in place for two to three weeks in Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Seattle, Portland, Austin, San Francisco, and Philadelphia." Boston police feared that the magnetic lightboards of cartoon characters might be bombs. According to PR Week, Turner Broadcasting has "hired outside PR and legal counsel" to recover from its "marketing stunt gone bad." Turner "declined to name the agency" it hired for PR assistance, and said it had not yet decided whether to continue to work with Interference, the agency that developed the lightboard campaign. Associated Press reports that Turner has "agreed to pay $2 million" to local Boston and Massachusetts state agencies.