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Turner To Pay $2 Million for Marketing Stunt

The Massachusetts Attorney General's Office confirms that Turner and outside marketer Interence Inc. have agreed to pay $2 million to compensate the state and Homeland security and other agencies for the resources expended in the terrorism scare that turned out to be a promo for Turner's Cartoon Network.

That payment breaks down as a million to cover costs and an extra million in "restitution" to be divvied up among the agencies.

Turner has also agreed to issue a letter of apology, though it had already apologized last week.

While the campaign, featuring light boards with Cartoon Net characters on them, was conducted in 10 cities, only Boston's signs created a problem, with police and Homeland Security scrambling to deal with the unidentified objects places under a bridge and in other public places.

Roads were closed and even a section of the Charles River was blocked off, with co-owned CNN reporting the story much of the day Wednesday, Jan. 31, before also reporting Turner's statement that it was a publicity stunt.

“Last week’s events caused a major disruption in the greater Boston area on many levels—crippling public transportation, causing serious traffic problems, negatively affecting local businesses, and perhaps most significantly, costing Boston and surrounding communities thousands of dollars,” said Attorney General Coakley in announcing the settlement.

“It is our hope that these funds will cover not only the expenses incurred by the many agencies who participated in the response and investigation of the devices discovered in the Boston area last Wednesday, but they will also enable our communities to enhance homeland security, or to pursue other important community initiatives.”

A million dollars will go to state and local agencies for the cost incurred of more than 30 of the devices. The other million is described as "goodwill funds" that will be divided among the involved agencies for "homeland security, community education and awareness, emergency response preparedness, training and equipment, or other appropriate community security and safety education."