Two men involved in an LED-based guerilla marketing campaign for Cartoon Network’s Aqua Teen Hunger Force were arrested and charged with inciting a bomb scare in Boston yesterday and pleaded not guilty.
Turns out the ads were nothing more than battery-powered electronic circuit boards with flashing LED lights similar to those you might find on the children’s toy Lite Brite. They were arranged in the shape of some of the cartoon’s characters, none of which are bombs, but are instead bad-boy spacemen known as “Mooninites.”
Interference, Inc. is the New York City-based marketing company hired to execute the campaign, but it is unclear who actually manufactured the very basic LED devices.
According to CNN.com, state, local and federal authorities in Boston shut down the Boston University and Longfellow bridges, and blocked maritime traffic from the Charles River into Boston Harbor. Bomb squads scrambled throughout the city and its suburbs, snarling traffic and mass transit in the city.
CNN also reports that authorities are considering charging Turner Broadcasting Corporation Inc. with the costs of yesterday’s pandamonium, upwards of $500,000.
The LEDs were placed in more than 10 other cities, including New York City, where they went unreported.
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