It might have seemed cute when marketing company TrashTalkFCM pitched the idea of releasing thousands of balloons into the San Francisco sky to promote Homefront during the Game Developers Conference earlier this year. But THQ realized as the balloons flew upwards and then inevitably fell down into the San Francisco Bay that maybe it wasn't such a great idea after all. The bad local and national publicity wasn't worth it.
TrashTalkFCM, the marketing company behind the campaign, thought that all those balloons would rise high enough into the air that they would disintegrate, according to the San Francisco Appeal. Instead they fell to the earth below, much to the chagrin of local residents. At the time THQ said that the balloons "were made from a 100 percent organic product and are 100 percent biodegradable" and a clean-up crew was immediately hired to remove balloons that had littered the Bay.
Ultimately, the onus fell on the marketing company that initiated the stunt in the first place, and not THQ. According to a 1UP report, the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board has fined the marketing company behind the publicity stunt $7,000, which it has 30 days to pay. The fine is the result of a settlement, which reduced what could have been a hefty sum.