Whoever came up with the idea of dumping hundreds of butterfingers on Boston's Copley Square, next to a sign about New England Patriot receiver Wes Welker, certainly knew how make a gesture in poor taste, shame on Pawngo on kicking the Boston Patriots while they and the fans recover from the Super Bowl loss.
This isn't the first time we've seen ill conceived guerrilla marketing tactics on the part of out of town companies. Local residents will remember the Aqua Teen Hunger Force campaign of early 2007, suspicious signs were placed around the city, and the city ground to a halt as police and authorities darted around the city dismantling the publicity stunt. Fortunately no terrorist threats were seen in Butterfinger stunt. But Pawngo received a citation from the City of Boston for commercial dumping.
Todd Hills, CEO-Founder of Pawngo, has quickly given a rather contrite apology. And if the meme of all publicity is good publicity pops up its head again as it did with the Aqua Teen Hunger Force campaign, we'll have to check in with Pawngo's traffic next month.
I was rereading some of my old posts from 2007, and I was struck by how much things have changed in 5 years, and how much things have not changed in 5 years. One post, especially was interesting, "Who Takes Responsibility For Marketing Campaigns," where I discussed Susan Getgood's post about Aqua Teen Hunger Force, and she asked the question, "what is the responsibility of a marketer to understand the potential effects of the campaign?"
And my discussion:
"I think that any marketer should work within an ethical framework, their own conscience, the laws of the state they live within, and if you are a member of various marketing related associations, the ethics code of the association. Susan asks where do we draw the line--well for Turner it was $2M as that was the price they had to pay for the chaos that resulted from the poorly planned campaign."
Lastly, I note that it was tough to find the story on the Boston Globe home page… I think the editors choice of not giving Pawngo any extra publicity or links is a good one….