Ina Fried

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LG’s Turkey of a PR Stunt for the G2 Smartphone Goes Horribly Awry

There have been PR stunts gone bad before, but this one from Korea’s LG surely deserves a place among the worst.

Screen Shot 2013-08-12 at 11.53.32 AM

According to various reports, LG had an event in Seoul on Friday where it attached coupons for a free G2 smartphone to 100 balloons. The idea, it appears, was that folks would calmly wait for the balloons to come down.

Instead, spectators showed up armed with spears and BB guns and other equally hare-brained schemes designed to return the balloons to earth. In all, 20 people are said to have been injured.

The whole thing reminded us at AllThingsD of an old “WKRP in Cincinnati” episode in which the station decides to drop free turkeys out of a helicopter as a Thanksgiving PR stunt. Yeah, that one didn’t work out so well, either.

An LG Representative was not immediately available for comment, although the company told the Korea Times that it would cover the medical costs of those injured.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald