I received an email today which recounted a tale from Las Vegas in the 1960’s which demonstrates the flip side of PR stunts.
Will Jones’s variety act, a troupe of amazing chimpanzees that played the pianoforte, were doing a support show in Las Vegas, off the strip, for a magician. Norman Berry decided to set up a publicity stunt to promote this show and thought it would be funny to let the chimpanzees loose in the lobby of a hotel.
What he didn’t realise was that the lobby was being used by a security convention. The chimps ran amok and the event resulted in a mass shooting. All the chimps were shot by the attendees of the security convention. What set out to promote an event, ended in the loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars of trained chimpanzee.company for their annual convention.