2 01 07 Reactions to the Ad Campaign that Triggered Bostons Bomb Scare

Having lived in several major urban areas in the U.S., as well as London, I am familiar with the inconveniences and annoyances created by so-called guerilla marketers. I’m delighted that the Boston escapade has apparently cost them (and the guy who hired them) their jobs.

Mass marketing is one of the plagues of modern society. It’s not a plague on the level of terrorism, global warming, or income inequality, but it’s a plague nonetheless. Guerrilla marketers are among the worst of the bunch – causing disruptions in our daily lives and ruining the cityscape in order to generate publicity for crappy, useless products and services. I don’t want to see fake graffiti that promotes some overpriced bluejeans, or have traffic blocked by some in-street stunt that promotes a new CD by a worthless pop star.

My life and my time are being intruded upon by marketers, and I’m not being given a choice about turning it off. And I’m angry. Their proliferation in the past decade is a testament to the actual uselessness of the products and services that are being offered, as marketers are forced to take ever-greater steps in order to trick the public into buying.

So in the Boston case, the firm chose to try to scare people. Don’t believe for a moment that they were unaware that people might mistake the symbols for electronic devices used by terrorists. Of course, people would think they were potentially dangerous – that’s the whole point of putting them up. If the company just wanted kids and young adults to have fun finding the symbols, then it could have announced a contest in which it was putting a dozen of the symbols up around town. The first person to find all of them would win a prize, etc.

So, the lack of remorse by the two marketers – who have the gall to call themselves “performance artists” – exposed the crassness of the whole plot. More power to the govt. for scaring the bastards, and more power to the company for firing the fool who signed off on the idea.