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The LinkUp Blog The Industry's Best-Kept Secret

May 18, 2006 / Toby Dayton

Buying A Newspaper Could Be Explosive

In one of the great episodes of the ongoing struggles of the daily newspaper industry, a local county arson squad blew up an LA Times news rack suspected of containing a bomb. In actuality, the news rack simply contained a small digital music box that had been installed to play the “Mission: Impossible” theme music when someone opened the door to grab a paper. As part of a promotional campaign for Paramount Pictures, the devices had been installed in 4,500 news racks throughout Los Angeles and Ventura counties in order to turn the “everyday news rack experience” into an “extraordinary mission.” On that front, the campaign was a smashing success.

In some of the news racks, the small red boxes with protruding wires had come loose and fallen on the stack of papers, inciting panic in at least one instance. The LA Sheriff’s Department arson squad was called in and the box was destroyed. In perhaps the biggest understatement of the year, the paper’s senior vice president for planning was quoted in the AP story as saying, “This was the least intended outcome. We weren’t expecting anything like this.” So much for a daily newspaper trying to be creative with non-traditional forms of advertising.

[tags]Newspapers Are Struggling, Alternative Advertising, Mission Impossible, Tom Cruise, Exploding Newspaper Boxes, News Racks, Exploding News Racks, Creative Advertising[/tags]