Free Money Promotion Turns Ugly But Still May Have Served Its Purpose

Promotional Event Leads to Violence in Paris (New York Times)

Sales Promotion Gone BadPromotions offering free money tend to be viewed suspiciously by consumers who wonder what the “catch” really is in order to participate in such giveaways.  But here is a story of a free money promotion that apparently was all about giving free money without the need for the money receivers to give anything back other than showing up in the middle of Paris.

Unfortunately, French police did not see this as such a great promotional idea and closed it down before it got off the ground.  That did not sit well with the crowd of over 7,000 gathered to snag the money. 

Nor did it sit well with local government officials who are considering fining the company.  While the police later allowed the promotion to run on a much smaller scale, by then the news was out.

In the ensuing mayhem, about a dozen people were arrested, store windows were broken, a car was overturned and at least one man was beaten by thugs. The riot police were called in to restore order.

As bad as things turned out, did the resulting publicity actually result in this being a positive for the company?

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