International

Smartphone Give-Away Goes Wrong; 20 Reported Hurt

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A promotional stunt went awry Friday in Seoul, where LG Electronics promised to give away 100 advance models of its upcoming G2 phone to anyone who caught a balloon holding a coupon for the $850 device. Members of the crowd reportedly used BB guns and other means to get an edge; about 20 people were injured.

"Some were using BB guns to shoot the balloons. As far as I know, there were only some 20 security guards," one witness wrote, according to The Korea Times.

One woman who came to the outdoor event brought a long stick resembling a spear; a man brought what looked to be balls of tape tied to the end of a string.

In a Korean TV news report on the event highlighted by The Verge (and posted here), a crowd is seen chasing a batch of the balloons as a worker struggles to release them. Dozens of the balloons simply floated away.

The news report on the troubled release of the balloons used a graphic to illustrate its story, titled "World War G" — a play on the film World War Z.

In South Korea, retail prices for the new phone, which was unveiled last week, are planned to be 950,000 won (about $850 at Monday's exchange rate).

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