Businesses are always trying out new ways to attract new customers and while some creative ideas result in huge success, others can be disastrous. For the German computer data security company Convar Deutschland, their idea of a clever marketing stunt has created chaos throughout Germany and racked up a hefty police bill.
To promote their specialty business of data recovery, Convar Deutschland sent out 40 “time bombs” to a handful of businesses, including embassies and newspaper organizations, that they believed would find their services useful. These “time bombs” consisted of several hard drives being glued together with an alarm clock and note that contained the phrase “Your time is running out.” Unfortunatly, Convar Deutschland underestimated the name recognition of their company since numerous buildings were evacuated and bomb squads were sent out throughout the country to take care of the supposed bombs.
Convar Deutschland released a statement once they heard of the panic that ensued and stated that “to raise awareness of the dangers of losing data, we sent a comic-book style alarm clock to symbolize the fact that time is running out on data safety. At absolutely no point did we mean to threaten, or injure, anyone.”
The police are still evaluating the damages caused by this PR stunt gone wrong, but Convar Deutschland will more than likely have to pay for all the wasted time and cost associated with the incident. If all they face is some fines, they should consider themselves lucky.