How to Get a Million Dollars of Free Press

mailorama melee
Photo Credit: Turban Bomb

Here’s the deal: Mailorama.fr, a French Internet marketing company similar to fatwallet planned a great publicity gimmick to promote its website which offers cash-back to visitors who click through their site to make online purchases.

The idea was simple: drive around central Paris throwing cash in envelopes from the windows of a double-decker London bus. The plan was to distribute a total of 5,000 envelopes, each containing €5 to €500 ($7.50 to $750).

But the scheme went agley. Just before the event was to have started, the Gendarmes freaked out when they saw an unruly mob of 7,000 that had formed near the Eiffel Tower in search of free cash. As soon as the cops announced that the whole thing was being canceled, the crowd ran amok.

About a dozen people were arrested, store windows were broken, a car was overturned and at least one man (see photo above) was beaten by thugs. SWAT had to be called in to restore order.

Some of my readers may view this promotion as a flop; however, as the New York Times noted, “… the uproar brought the company notoriety beyond its wildest dreams.”

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