Friday, February 2, 2007
An advertising campaign for shows on Adult Swim, a programming block on Cartoon Network, which is owned by Turner Broadcasting, gave local and federal law-enforcement a scare when devices were discovered on eight different bridges and roads.
The U.S. city of Boston was snarled in traffic jams January 31 as police investigated devices with flashing lights representing a cartoon character were placed around bridges and other areas throughout the city.
Different governmental agencies were brought in to help deal with the problem, which was later found to be no threat, as described by Boston Police Department spokesperson Eddy Chrispin. A bomb squad was deployed under supervision of the FBI, Boston police, the US Coast Guard, and different federal agencies.
The advertising campaign, for the widely popular program Aqua Teen Hunger Force, featuring characters from that series, was in place for two to three weeks in Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and many other major US cities.
Two people have been arrested for alleged participation in this incident.
Turner Broadcasting Systems hired New York marketing firm Interference Inc. which in turn hired individuals in the various cities to place the devices promoting the cartoon’s fifth season, scheduled for a February 23 premiere. Road and rail traffic was disrupted by police as they investigated and removed the devices.
The mostly flat devices resemble two-foot-square Lite-Brites with batteries attached to the bottom and visible wires.
G4TV has dubbed the incident “Aquagate” on its broadcast of Attack of the Show segment The Feed.
It is not known why the devices took police several weeks to notice, nor why the devices were believed to be dangerous.