Advert showing breasts causes 517 car crashes

Sarah Coles
Moscow publicity stunt
Moscow publicity stunt

An advert showing a woman cupping her breasts - with just the thinnest blue strip to protect her modesty - was pasted onto 30 trucks in Moscow. On the first day that the trucks were on the road, 517 car crashes were reported - caused by drivers who were so keen to get a better look at the posters that they forgot the fact they were on the road.

The Metro reported that the wording on the strip translated as 'They Attract'. It added that the company behind the advert, the Sarafan Advertising Agency, had promised to compensate anyone affected by an accident who wasn't covered by their insurance.

The advert was meant to demonstrate to potential advertisers that posters on the side of trucks were an effective way to market their products. A spokesperson said that: "We wanted to draw attention to this new format with this campaign".

On the one hand it was a disaster, with the potential for real damage and upset. The Daily Mail reported that police had impounded all the trucks and insisted the adverts be removed.

On the other hand, the publicity caused by the accidents must be a real upside, with the story reported by media around the world. Even paying for the adverts and then spending a bit extra on compensation must be cheaper than the kind of campaign it would have taken to reach this number of people. It makes you wonder whether the whole thing was an elaborate publicity stunt.

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10 Ill Advised Publicity Stunts
10 Ill Advised Publicity Stunts

Bizarre publicity stunts
It wouldn't be the first bizarre stunt a company had pulled which has had an unfortunate side effect.

In 2005, Snapple erected the world's largest ice lolly in New York. Unfortunately a scorching day meant it melted before the press showed up and the roads had to be closed to hose off the goo.

In 2002 two streakers entertained the crowds at a New Zealand vs Australia rugby match sporting nothing but the Vodafone logo. The police arrested them and the chief executive issued an apology for any crowd members who were upset by the stunt.

In 2011 The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo was released on DVD. Playing on one of the central themes, the marketeers designed the DVDs to look like pirated copies. Thousands of confused customers tried to return them.

Back in May this year the makers of a new computer game sent a journalist in Sydney a black safe with a note telling her to check her voicemail. When she tried to open the safe, it started to beep, so she panicked and called the bomb squad. When the experts forced the safe open, they found a copy of the video game.

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