Today's Blogs

Marketing Bomb

Bloggers question the motives and usefulness of a spectacularly ill-fated Cartoon Network ad campaign, play skeptic toward Sen. John Warner, and debate a new report on global warming.

Marketing bomb: Boston police have arrested two suspects on disorderly conduct and “placing a hoax device” in the aftermath of a publicity stunt that crippled the city. A highway through the city was closed and bomb squads were called in to investigate suspicious devices that turned out to be an unconventional ad campaign for the Cartoon Network’s Aqua Teen Hunger Force. The fiasco drew a few chuckles from the blogosphere, but also some puzzlement.

Dan Tudor at marketing information blog Landing the Deal offered a justification for what could be seen as screwball motivation: “The promotion was designed to generate some excitment for their cartoon show and win over new adult viewers. Did they do it in a poorly executed manner? Without a doubt. Will they get in some trouble and pay some fines?  Probably. Are they getting ten times the publicity from it than they originally intended? You bet! 

Beyond the Buzz, the eponymous blog of a marketing firm, notes that even if the campaign got people talking, it didn’t need to do so illegally: “I’ve worked a variety of venues with promotions and there’s always permission involved somewhere. You can’t hang a banner in a parking lot without permission of the store or location. You can’t go to a public park without a permit… I have no doubt that somewhere someone is saying ‘I told you this wasn’t a good idea.’ But did anyone in the chain of events stop to think ‘Do we need to make sure this is okay first? Before we connect this electronic device to this bridge?’”

Satirist Scott Ott at ScrappleFace quips that Turner would next resort to “Planting hundreds of improvised advertising devices (IAD) that would suddenly flash, make a loud noise and scatter thousands of promotional fliers all over the road or sidewalk.”

The media don’t escape their share of finger-pointing. According to MIT blog Convergence Culture Consortium,“I think the citizens who discovered devices that they found suspicious should be commended but that the politicians and news industry surrounding the event should be ashamed at the sensationalizing and fear-mongering surrounding the event. There had to be an indication fairly early on that these were not dangerous devices, yet the news reporters on the scene were talking about the devices being ‘detonated’ and giving some of my relatives in Kentucky near-heart attacks.”

Read more about the marketing debacle.

Dirge for the surge? Sen. John Warner has garnered support for a nonbinding resolution that would oppose President Bush’s plan to send 21,500 more troops to Iraq while agreeing not to cut funding for troops in the area. Bloggers are unconvinced of the measure’s effectiveness.

D.C. blog jabberbloggy suspected that the provision to maintain funding was an excuse for dirty politics: “On the Senate front, they look good: they are working in ‘bi-partisan unity’ and building political capital with their fellow Congress(wo)men… oh, yeah, and they don’t have to waste time coming to a real solution to the current disaster in Iraq, and instead, spend time meeting with lobbyists, chasing Hill interns, and throwing their hats into the 2008 presidential race.”

BarbinMD at progressive blog Daily Kos cried inefficacy: “It seems that this compromise means the Senate is ceding their “power of the purse,” and refusing to criticize the Bush plan, saying only that they “disagree” with it, while Warner agrees to not support additional forces…in a resolution to oppose additional forces.  Where exactly is the compromise?  Are they going for the Lieberman vote?”

Pete Abel of centrist blog The Moderate Voice reassured readers, “Is this the right outcome? I don’t know. But at least they’re moving forward. And I, for one, would say that’s encouraging, and we should probably give those involved — Reid, Warner, and others — our congratulations on what we can only hope is a first step toward broader consensus.”

Read more about the nonbinding resolution.

Warming to climate change: A new report on global warming to be released Friday will claim with “virtual certainty” that humans have contributed to global warming through fossil fuel use. Bloggers tussle over what to make of it.

Anti-“New World Order” blog The Freedom Paradigm viewed the report as a new imperative: “The time has come to start treating global warming as the catastrophic reality it is. …We, as the American people, must insist that our leaders put aside partisanship and fealty to the global petroleum cartels to enact broad and meaningful legislation to protect our environment for the benefit of future generations.”

However, “Liberal Bias” watchdog CyberAlert contends that the organization behind the report became mired in politics: “[N]onscientists generally do not want to bother with understanding the science. Claims of consensus relieve policy types, environmental advocates and politicians of any need to do so. Such claims also serve to intimidate the public and even scientists – especially those outside the area of climate dynamics.”

Environmental law blog BioLaw,though, saw the debate as changed:“What seems clear already is that, where world scientific consensus included relatively general predictions accompanied by generous error margins only several years ago, current predictions have increased significantly in both magnitude and specificity.”

Read more about the new global warming study. Read the IPCC’s 2006 draft report.