Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The True Cost Of Improper Communication - Post 9/11

Cartoon Network Animation Center, Burbank, California. Image Credit: Burbank.com

The True Cost Of Improper Communication - Post 9/11

WE, at MAXINE, can see it all now, in the boardroom of Turner Broadcasting ... "Guerilla Marketing - it's a way to create tremendous BUZZ without having to pay a lot of money for billboards, or get all wrapped up in government approvals and/or permits."

"Look, we have been able to fly-under-the-radar on many projects and we are very successful!"

"Yes!, that's right, we will make up these LED cartoon light boxes from black plexi-glass, power them with batteries - and save the power of the batteries with light sensors placed next to the batteries, attach magnets on the back of them, and mount them (in the middle of the night) in high traffic areas so that as many people as possible can see them at night as they drive, or walk, from place to place."

"We will use the cartoon character that is known for 'Flipping-Off' people and things as part of its persona."

Electronic devices placed in Boston and nearby communities were an ad for Cartoon Network's Aqua Teen Hunger Force. The devices were feared to be bombs and parts of the city were shut down. Image Credit: Todd Vanderlin/Associated Press

Sure, we can get enough BUZZ (media attention) before the late March release date of the feature length cartoon film.

News item from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation –

$2 million US settlement in Boston TV ad bomb hoax
Last Updated: Monday, February 5, 2007 1:07 PM ET - CBC Arts

Turner Broadcasting Systems and ad firm Interference Inc. have agreed to pay $2 million US in the wake of an ad campaign that caused a widespread bomb scare across Boston last week.

The two companies agreed to pay several state and local agencies to resolve any potential civil or criminal claims against them, state Attorney General Martha Coakley said Monday.

"Money" - Image Credit: United Press International

Public areas in Boston were evacuated and bomb squads responded last Wednesday after three dozen blinking electronic signs were found in subway stations, on bridges and in other public places.

Highways, bridges and a section of the Charles River were shut down and bomb squads were studying the devices before authorities declared they were harmless.

Blossom (PowerPuff Girls) Avitar. Image Credit: The Cartoon Network

The devices, featuring a boxy cartoon character giving an obscene hand gesture, were part of a publicity campaign for Cartoon Network's Aqua Teen Hunger Force.

They were distributed in nine other big U.S. cities in recent weeks, without causing the same consternation.

Buttercup (PowerPuff Girls) Avitar. Image Credit: The Cartoon Network

As part of the settlement, $1 million US will be used to reimburse the agencies and $1 million US will be used to fund homeland security and other programs.

"Last week's events caused a major disruption in the greater Boston area on many levels — crippling public transportation, causing serious traffic problems, negatively affecting local businesses and perhaps most significantly, costing Boston and surrounding communities thousands of dollars," Coakley said.

Bubbles (PowerPuff Girls) Avitar. Image Credit: The Cartoon Network

Atlanta-based Turner Broadcasting, the division of Time Warner Inc. that owns the Cartoon Network, and Interference Inc., the New York ad firm that conceived the campaign, have agreed to make a public apology.

Turner issued an early mea culpa Friday in full-page ads that appeared in Boston newspapers.

However, Coakley criticized the broadcaster for taking five hours to notify police that the devices were part of an ad campaign.

In an effort to ward off lawsuits, Interference issued a statement over the weekend saying it contacted Turner and authorities as soon as it heard of the chaos caused by the devices.
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Now Turner Broadcasting is having to take money out of the mouths of, well ... PowerPuff Girls.


Excerpts from CNNMoney -

Cartoon Network boss quits over bomb scare
Jim Samples is taking the fall for the marketing debacle at Turner Broadcasting.
By CNN's Katy Byron and CNNMoney.com's Rob Kelley - February 9 2007: 3:17 PM EST

In a letter to employees, Jim Samples, the general manager and executive vice president of the network, wrote: "I deeply regret the negative publicity and expense caused to our company as a result of this campaign. As general manager of Cartoon Network, I feel compelled to step down, effective immediately, in recognition of the gravity of the situation that occurred under my watch."

Turner Broadcasting System and Interference Inc. agreed to pay $2 million to make amends for last Wednesday's bomb scare in Boston, the Massachusetts attorney general said Monday. TBS is the parent of the Cartoon Network, which initiated the marketing scheme. CNN, CNNMoney.com and TBS are all owned by Time Warner Inc. (Charts), the world's largest media company.

Samples had been with Atlanta-based Cartoon Network for 13 years.
Reference Here>>

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