Yesterday a marketing campaign for Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim show “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” caused a massive panic in Boston, when LED signs of Ignignot and Err (Mooninite Marauders characters from the show) were mistaken as explosive devices. Boston authorities overreacted and shut down half of the city and the Adult Swim art was subsequently detonated by Boston police.
Media & Blog Coverage
“Froth, fear, and fury in Boston” (Boston Globe)
“Aqua Teen Hunger Force LED art shuts down Boston” (Phillip Torrone, Make Magazine)
“Suspicious Packages in Boston” (Skadz, Metroblogging Boston)
“LED ad campaign ignites terrorism scare in Boston” (Mark Frauenfelder, Boing Boing)
“everybody panic!” (Wil Wheaton)
“AQUA TEEN HUNGER FORCE Hysteria In Boston… sad commentary on the times we live in?” (Ain’t It Cool News)
“Boston and the ATHF: the day after” (Bob Sassone, TV Squad)
“Non-Terrorist Embarrassment in Boston” (Bruce Schneier)
“Cartoon Network Chief Quits Over Marketing Stunt” (Associated Press)
“Some Thoughts on Last Week in Boston” (Wooster Collective)
Last month I came across one of the Aqua Teen Hunger Force promos while driving around Los Angeles.
UPDATE 1: Boston police have arrested Peter Berdovsky and Sean Stevens, the artists who were hired by Turner Broadcasting to install the promotional artwork. Peter’s website zebbler.com not currently online, but his MySpace page is still up.
UPDATE 2: Turner Broadcasting has issued an apology regarding the controversial marking campaign.
UPDATE 3: The LED signs had been previously installed in 10 other cities without incident, including San Francisco. So why did Boston freak out like it did? Wil Wheaton has an excellent analysis of how it all went down.
UPDATE 5: Sean and Peter made their official statement to the media, were they only would discuss hairstyles from the 70’s. Hilarious.
UPDATE 6: The video of Peter and Sean (aka GlitchCrew) installing the LED devices in Boston is now online.
UPDATE 8: Peter Berdovsky and Sean Stevens have apologized for scaring Boston.