Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Maybe They'll Call It "Meatwad's Law"

I don't, for the record, support legislation by anecdote. The title refers to the unfortunate American habit of naming laws, as though conjuring the image of some precious youngster tragically departed could add enough gravity to justify circumventing the usual legal process. It's a symptom of the same disease that causes us to try minors as adults, or to establish murky legal categories to indefinitely detain suspicious Arabs. It's the false belief that our current times are significant enough to abandon those pesky legal protections.

On the off chance that the local follies haven't reached a national audience, the city of Boston has fallen victim to two "guerrilla marketing" campaigns in 2007. One, advertising for the terrorists at the Cartoon Network, confused local authorities into thinking Lite BriteTM displays were bombs. (I mean, they didn't even have red ticking numbers. Those terrorists are nothing if not crafty.) Another recent campaign by Dr. Pepper led scavenger hunters into protected historic monuments. The first brought out the full pressure of the authorities: bomb squads and sirens and guys in uniforms getting their faces blotted with powder for the cameras. The second merely induced some carefully directed public outrage.

Rather than admit that the reaction was overheated, expensive, and retarded, the city of Boston called a hearing yesterday to best prevent these perpetrators from terrorizing [sic] us again. Quoth the Globe:

In the aftermath of two recent guerrilla marketing stunts that ran afoul of local authorities, members of the City Council said today they would consider forcing all corporate marketers to obtain city licenses before they can push products.

The proposal’s authors, Maureen E. Feeney and Stephen J. Murphy, said new measures are needed because fines and regulations on the books do little to deter massive corporations seeking publicity through unconventional marketing campaigns.

Because, you know, existing laws just weren't good enough, and it's assumed in all cases that if the guys in uniforms are excited, then someone else is responsible.


twiffer said...

ye gods. so, will now be illegal to do any thing that might potentially embarass the city of boston?

and if that's to be the case, what is to be done about the celtics?

twiffer said...

addendum: [..]because fines and regulations on the books do little to deter massive corporations seeking publicity through unconventional marketing campaigns.

um, why do unconventional marketing campaigns need to be deterred? this isn't legislature based on anecdote; it's based on an untenable and unreasonable assumption.

Keifus said...

Because they're unconventional. There's just no telling what the kids will do to scare us. (I told you about the proposed sledding helmet thing, right?)

The Bruins aren't doing so hot either, or so I've heard.


twiffer said...

the hockey season is still going on? is that why i saw those kids with captital's jerseys and hockey sticks on the metro last night?

on that note, i can understand bringing a glove to a ball game, but why bring a stick to a hockey game?