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Charges Dropped Against Guerrilla Marketers

This article is more than 15 years old.

Charges have been dropped against the two men who inadvertently put the city into a terrorism panic when they posted electronic billboards around Boston that police suspected were explosives.

Peter Berdovsky, 27, and Sean Stevens, 28, were hired to promote the Cartoon Network program "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" by hanging flashing neon signs depicting a character from the series, making an obscene gesture.

The threatening nature of the signs, and their proximity to major infrastructure like bridges, prompted officials to dispatch bomb squads and shut down roadways across the city.

On Friday, both men apologized for the stunt in Charlestown District Court, saying they did not anticipate the uproar they caused.

Under a deal with prosecutors, Berdovsky and Stevens completed community service at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Center in Boston to avoid criminal charges.

In the wake of the event, Time Warner, the parent company of the Cartoon Network, agreed to pay $2 million to the city for the costs of the response.

The head of the Cartoon Network, Jim Samples, resigned nine days after the uproar.

Similar devices were placed around other U.S. cities without incident.

Boston city officials are discussing legislation that would bar future "guerilla marketing" campaigns in the city without permission from authorities.

This program aired on May 11, 2007. The audio for this program is not available.


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