Enraged Massachusetts and Boston officials are readying a legal assault against those responsible for a guerrilla marketing campaign that dotted Boston with small battery-powered light screens, setting off fears of terrorism and shutting down major roadways and subway lines for parts of the day, reports the Boston Globe. Authorities were retrieving the 38 magnetic signs depicting cartoon characters under bridges, on storefronts, outside Fenway Park, and elsewhere that were installed as part of a Turner Broadcasting System marketing blitz for a Cartoon Network television show.
For much of the day, police treated the signs, which measure about 1 by 1 1/2 feet and feature protruding wires on one side, as potentially dangerous. Turner Broadcasting System Inc. apologized for the campaign, which included cartoon characters making an obscene gesture. Police arrested Peter Berdovsky, 27, an artist, who told the Globe he installed the signs for an ad firm. Berdovsky, who described himself as “a little kind of freaked out,” was charged with placing a hoax device in a way that causes panic and disorderly conduct. Legal action could attempt to recover the cost of deploying scores of state, federal, and Boston police specialists, from bomb experts to terrorism analysts, estimated at more than $500,000.