An advertising agency for BMW recently paid $313 to name a cold weather front sweeping Europe "Cooper" in Germany, but the public-relations stunt went wrong after freezing conditions led to more than 100 deaths.
On its website, advertising agency Sassenbach said that naming the front after the open-air Mini Cooper roadster was a "wind- and weather-proof idea", but up to 6 feet of snow and ice brought , temperatures as low as minus 52C and led to at least 110 deaths, mainly in Poland and Ukraine. In Ukraine alone, nearly 950 people are being treated in hospital with hypothermia and frostbite, the Associated Press news agency reports.
The Munich-based advertising agency said it was no longer commenting on the unfortunate correlation between the severe weather and the car it sought to publicise. It also named a warmer weather front to follow "Minnie".
BMW has apologised for the stunt, which cost the advertising firmand said it deeply regretted that the weather front had taken on "catastrophic proportions" and claimed so many lives.
The meteorological institute's "Adopt a Vortex" scheme has been running since 2002, with the money raised helping to fund weather monitoring at Berlin's Free University. The institute is the only one outside the US which names weather systems.––Paul DucheneBack to News