Monday, February 26, 2007

On the evils of capitalism

Okay, so just a note to any advertisers considering any kind of unorthodox advertising or marketing campaign in Boston: Take your business elsewhere.
A clue in a Dr Pepper promotion suggested a coin that might be worth as much as $1 million was buried in the 347-year-old Granary Burying Ground, the final resting place of John Hancock, Paul Revere, Samuel Adams and other historic figures.

After contestants showed up at the cemetery gates early Tuesday, the city closed it, concerned that it would be damaged by treasure hunters.

"It absolutely is disrespectful," Boston Parks Commissioner Toni Pollak told The Boston Globe. "It's an affront to the people who are buried there, our nation's ancestors."

British candy and soft drink maker Cadbury Schweppes PLC, which makes Dr Pepper, canceled the Boston portion of the 23-city coin hunt promotion on Thursday, acknowledging it had hidden the coin in the downtown graveyard that is visited by thousands of tourists a year. There hadn't been complaints from any other city.


Parks officials said the city might seek compensation for the police used to protect the site.

Now, I completely understand fears of grave desecration. I've stepped in gum in an Austrian cemetary, and it came from one of a group of chunky, matching-neon-yellow-t-shirt-wearing, be-fanny-packed American tourists. People have no respect, and it sucks, and it ruins it for the rest of us.

But the phrase "There hadn't been complaints from any other city" call to mind the Great Mooninite Invasion of 2007. Just a hint, Boston city government: If you're flipping your shit over an ad campaign, and New York City is sitting back filing its collective nails, maybe you're investing a little more energy into your wig-out-ittude than is absolutely necessary. Sit back, take a breather, pop a Fanta, and then put that "defending Beantown from the evil advertisers" money toward making a nice park for the kids. Or give flowers to Paul Revere, or something. It's all going to be okay.

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