Network Head Resigns Over Boston Shenanigans
Posted on Feb 9, 2007
The head of the Cartoon Network has stepped down because of the recent terror scare in Boston, which was caused by the city’s overreaction to an advertising ploy—nine other cities managed not to descend into hysterics when the Lite-Brite-like advertisements began appearing. Jim Samples shouldn’t have to lose his job because authorities in Boston mistook a blinking cartoon character for an act of terrorism.
Dozens of blinking electronic devices showing a crude cartoon character had been planted in 10 cities as part of a guerrilla marketing campaign to promote the cartoon “Aqua Teen Hunger Force,” but when Boston authorities got a series of calls about the devices on Jan. 31, they feared the circuit boards with wires could be explosives.
Cartoon Network’s corporate parent acknowledged a few hours into the scare that the boards were harmless and part of a marketing move.
On Monday, Turner Broadcasting and an advertising agency involved agreed to pay $2 million in compensation for the emergency response the devices had spurred in Boston. The Cartoon Network is a division of Atlanta-based Turner Broadcasting, whose parent is media giant Time Warner Inc.