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October 28, 2009
7:50 AM -- An elaborate marketing campaign involving a faked meteorite crash in Latvia has spectacularly backfired for Swedish operator Tele2 AB (Nasdaq: TLTO), according to reports.
The Swedish operator, which offers mobile services in Latvia, staged a meteorite crash to be filmed as part of a new advertising campaign in the country. The operator went out and dug a hole in a Latvian field, 27 feet wide and 9 feet deep, then burned chemicals to make it look convincing.
Unfortunately for Tele2, local Latvian authorities weren't in on the hoax, because they called out the emergency services, got the national military dispatched to test for radiation contamination, and probably checked to see if Mulder and Scully were available.
Once Tele2 explained that it was all a media stunt for a new ad campaign, the Latvian government was not amused. Reportedly, the government plans to cancel contracts with the operator and will order the company to pay $26,000 in damages.
— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Unstrung
Read more about:Europe
Michelle Donegan is an independent technology writer who has covered the communications industry for the last 20 years on both sides of the Pond. Her career began in Chicago in 1993 when Telephony magazine launched an international title, aptly named Global Telephony. Since then, she has upped sticks (as they say) to the UK and has written for various publications including Communications Week International, Total Telecom and, most recently, Light Reading.
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