Fake "Plane Crash" Staged For Publicity

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It's not War of the Worlds, but a Canadian television network won its share of scrutiny for choosing to promote a new program with a fake plane crash, Thursday, in Montreal. Thanks to the network, a bright yellow Cub-like aircraft was posed nose-down in the crushed roof of an SUV parked across from Montreal's Bell Centre, a sports and entertainment complex in the city. The network even managed artificial smoke to be pumped out of the conjoined wreckage as passersby who were informed of the promotion stopped to take pictures. "For us, it was just to create curiosity and suspense," Elise Beauchemin, director of communications for the French-language cable TV channel responsible for the stunt, told CBC News. Local police told the news source they had been informed of the stunt ahead of time and there was no local panic or danger, but media outlets had "flooded" the police station with calls of concern.

The network, Canal D, used the staged event to promote a new series on life-threatening close calls. Comments from people reacting to the story online ranged from concerns about traffic to "send anyone and everyone involved in this 'stunt' to jail with the parents of the 'balloon boy'" to "wow, must be a slow news day" and "I think it's all pretty cool." In the end, there were no injuries as a result of the staged event. The advertising sculpture, for lack of a better term, had been positioned at about 4:30 a.m. the same morning and remained on site all day.