Ina Fried

Recent Posts by Ina Fried

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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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik