Media: Hit or Miss - Latvian mobile phone firm's staged meteorite crash blows up in its face

Fake crater - A mobile phone company in Latvia was slammed for staging a 'meteorite crash'. Tele2 said the stunt was designed to give people something 'creative and exciting' to talk about. But the Latvian government was not amused and said it would cut its contract with the company in protest. Tele2 has promised to reimburse the nation for the cost of sending military units and scientists to investigate the ten-metre-wide crater.

HOW I SEE IT - Alan Twigg, Managing partner, Seventy Seven PR

The initial attacks on Tele2 were premature, but considering this scam emerged last week and we are still waiting for the 'pay off' and some genuine brand saliency, I have lost my patience. I admire the audacity of the physical stunt, but the knee-jerk defence that it was to distract attention from the country's economic crisis is like saying The X Factor duo John and Edward are palatable because the weather has been bad. I guess 'special' communication will be the roundabout justification when it comes, but it will be pretty weak in a telecoms sector where we have come to expect great things above and below the line. A salutary lesson that for every successful stunt we praise, dozens end up lying in a pitiful crater somewhere.


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