What comes to mind?
Apparently some Boston area resident/s associated an out of place electric sign (pictured above), featuring a comic character giving them the finger, as Osama’s latest plot to destroy America. It was the scary wires sticking out the back and the gasp…battery!
The devices displayed a “Mooninite” — an outer-space delinquent who makes frequent appearances on the cartoon — greeting passersby with an upraised middle finger. But the discovery of nine of the light boards around Boston and its suburbs sent bomb squads scrambling throughout the day, snarling traffic and mass transit in one of the largest U.S. cities.
“It had a very sinister appearance,” Coakley told reporters. “It had a battery behind it, and wires.”
I’ve read reports that some of the devices were being confused as pipe bombs. OK, well, to be fair, I haven’t seen any pictures in these stories yet with anything that resemblies a pipe bomb so perhaps there’s something to this. I know what a pipe bomb looks like because my brother and his mates used to blow them up in the middle of our suburban street on a fairly regular basis. Sure, they were really little pipe bombs but pipe bombs all the same. And you know what, the cops know what pipe bombs look like as well. A confused citizen (and I do mean confused) is one thing, but this reaction from our public protectors – I can’t stomach it.
This is just the kind of hysterical reaction that marks us as suckers to our real enemies (no, not the ones from space). Is this really what we’re coming to in America? One thing is for sure, no one is getting a bigger laugh at our expense right now then Osama and his boys. The following from Boston’s Mayor (perhaps we could re-institute the draft and send him in to Iraq FIRST so he gets an idea of what real terrorism looks like).
“A livid Boston Mayor Thomas Menino late Wednesday promised legal action against Turner Broadcasting and others responsible for the campaign.
“It is outrageous, in a post-9/11 world, that a company would use this type of marketing scheme,” Menino said. “I am prepared to take any and all legal action against Turner Broadcasting and its affiliates for any and all expenses incurred during the response to today’s incidents.”
and this beaut from our friendly neighborhood Boston Police Superintendent:
“It is unconscionable that in this post-9/11 environment that Turner Broadcasting would do something like this in an urban setting. … Perhaps next time they’ll think twice about an ad campaign that puts a city at risk,” Boston Police Superintendent Ed Davis said.”
While we’re sending Boston’s mayor over to Iraq to do something useful with himself, I’d save a seat on the plane for Ed Davis.
Now, I admit that I’d be pissed as hell if I was the one that got stuck in those horrible traffic jams in Boston yesterday, but it wouldn’t be the ad men I was mad at.Â And frankly, as a marketer I don’t think I’d run a campaign like this, but when our leaders continue to pander to the lowest common denominator in our society with this kind of political response then we don’t have a chance against real evil. It was an ad. I don’t blame the ad agency and I don’t blame Turner, I blame politics as usual and the current reality distortion field being wholly gobbled up by far too many Americans. You don’t have to turn off your CNN or put down your ‘trusted’ New York Times altogether, but I would ask that you look a little deeper than these ‘trusted’ sources before you go calling in a bomb threat. Come on America, I love ‘ya more than anything, but it’s past time to pull our heads out of you know where.
OK, you still want your CNN don’t you. Here you go.