Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Promotional stunts in the news

Two promotional stunts were in the news recently. One stunt resulted in the death of Jennifer Strange, who participated in a water drinking contest titled "Hold Your Wee for a Wii". I've read various articles on this story, many of which state that since Strange signed a waiver, then the station shouldn't be faulted for the death. However, I think it's foolish to have such stunts to begin with. The attached article said that Strange drank almost two gallons of water, and that her belly was like that of a woman in early pregnancy.

She's not a camel, and that's way too much water to be drinking in one sitting. I think that this suit should go through, because any station that has such stunts should seriously think it through and speculate all the potential problems that could occur. It wouldn't have taken a lot of "Googling" to find that a couple of years ago, a college student died of the same thing. My heart is broken over the loss of the woman's life, and I think that the creators of this stunt should be made to sit in a court of law and explain their actions. Strange's children deserve that much.

The second stunt involved the placement of electronic signs that caused the city of Boston to go on alert for a possible bomb threat. Now here, I must concede that there was a bit of an over-reaction on the part of the city of Boston - but just as quickly I say that in this post 9-11 day and age, such reactions are to be expected, especially by those who plan such stunts. The emergency responders were basically just doing their job. Like the radio promoters, the producers of Adult Swim should likewise sit in a court of law and face the music.

There are good promotions, and then there are those promotions that need a little more thought before they are put into action. The two examples above should have been thought out some more. I find it very surprising that someone along the way in the planning of these stunts didn't stop and say "Should we be doing this?" I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but I am. Mainly because we live in a lawsuit-happy age, and any of these public organizations are a screw-up away from having their places of businesses sued out of existence. You'd think that keeping the nature of our day-and-age would be second nature to such folks by now. Funny how I keep being proven wrong. I don't know what that says about us.

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