Cartoon Network Boss Falls on Sword Over Boston 'Bomb' Fiasco

12 February 2007

ATLANTA: Cartoon Network president/general manager Jim Samples resigned - reluctantly it is implied - on Friday in the wake of the furore surrounding the network's ill-conceived 'guerrilla marketing' campaign that triggered a bomb scare across the city of Boston on January 31.

Some see him as the fall guy in a fiasco that epitomizes the advertising community's growing desperation to cut through the media clutter of the digital age.

Samples' departure is with immediate effect. In a valedictory email to Cartoon Network staff, he wrote: "I feel compelled to step down . . . in recognition of the gravity of the situation that occurred under my watch."

The misfiring stunt caused much of Boston to experience gridlock, with subway, river and highway traffic halted, and many citizens near to panic after two lackeys from New York guerrilla marketing agency Interference sited forty blinking boxes at various key points around the city.

Unsurprisingly in these jittery times, the devices - intended to promote the Cartoon Network's Aqua Teen Hunger Force TV show - were mistaken for bombs.

CN's parent, Turner Broadcasting System, and Interference have offered the City compensation to the tune of $1 million each, with Turner waving another million bucks for 'goodwill', specifically to support homeland security efforts in and around Boston.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online. additional content by WARC staff