Breathe easy, New York City - the NYPD has removed the LED pieces with Aqua Teen Hunger Force's mooninite Ignignokt from locations. It's unclear where they were, but WNBC reported that one was at 54th Street and 9th Avenue. And don't worry, folks, the Boston police have arrested Peter Berdovsky for planting the LED devices. Berdovsky's website, Zebbler.com, shows the locations of 20 devices (or, as the Massachusetts authorities are calling them, "hoax devices").
Looking at the photos, you wonder how this looked suspicious to Boston police, because it looks like a light installation. Maybe the daylight and the one-fingered salute seemed threatening. Wait, the middle finger F.U. was scary to the media! At this point, the guerrilla marketing company behind the stunt, Interference Inc., says its CEO is traveling, so no comment, and its website seems down.
As for what probably spooked authorities, we guess it's the fact that some of these gimmicks were placed under bridges. Check out this video to see an installation:
This is no laughing matter to Boston authorities, though. Mayor Thomas Menino said in a press conference, "It is outrageous, in a post-9/11 world, that a company would use this type of marketing scheme." And he wants the FCC to pull Cartoon Network owner Turner Broadcasting's license. DA Daniel Conley of Boston's Suffolk County said, “The community was disrupted, transit routes were paralyzed, residents were stranded, and relatives across the nation were in fear for loved ones here in the city of Boston. Everyone can play a part by holding Turner Broadcasting to account for today’s event. Viewers, advertisers and licenseholders can and should make clear to them that this sort of behavior is reckless and illegal.” Reckless and illegal? Kind of like Boston's Big Dig?
What do you think of this incident? Is this more reason for the city to crack down on guerrilla street advertising? And should we feel comforted or disturbed that the devices left in NYC went pretty much unnoticed?
Some enterprising soul (aren't they all) is selling one on eBay. But if you don't want to shell out that kind of money, make a mooninite out of Lite Brite! Boing Boing pointed out that someone has made "Aqua Teen Hunger Force is the bomb" T-shirts. And you know tonight's ATHF ratings will be gangbusters! We're not sure how well the upcoming movie will do - it might be too much press, a la Snakes on a Plane, too soon.
Photograph of the actual ATHF LED by Todd Vanderlin/AP who actually posted this picture on Flickr 2 weeks ago