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Trojan’s vibrator giveaway the ‘best PR stunt of the summer’

By Michael Sebastian | Posted: August 9, 2012
One PR professional is calling it the “best public relations stunt of the summer.”

On Wednesday, Trojan started handing out free vibrators from a hot dog cart—dubbed “Pleasure Carts”—on the streets of New York. The company planned to give away 10,000 on Wednesday and Thursday, updating the location of the carts via the brand’s Facebook page. However, the city of New York shut them down before they reached that goal, indicating Trojan had not acquired the proper permits.

According to media reports, hundreds of women—as well as some men—lined up for the free product. Or, as Business Insider put it, “In The Middle Of The Financial District, People Lined Up In Broad Daylight To Get Free Vibrators.”

As you might imagine, other New York-based media outlets had some fun with their headlines. The New York Post went with: “City officials pull the plug on vibrator giveaway, leaving thousands dissatisfied.” (This story, by the way, made the cover of Thursday’s Post.) Its tabloid rival, the Daily News, opted for, “Good Vibrations! Trojan to distribute 10,000 vibrators at New York City 'hot dog' carts.” Even the Gray Lady had some fun: “A Surprise in a Hot Dog Cart.”

According to that New York Times story, the retail value of the 10,000 vibrators that garnered all of that attention is $350,000—peanuts compared to the $10.5 million it spent advertising its products in 2011.

New York-based PR professional Drew Kerr, who called this the summer’s best public relations stunt, said the marketers at Trojan deserve a bonus for the success of the giveaway.

“I've always said that one of the best kinds of PR stunts is getting a long public line to form, and in this, Trojan succeeded,” he wrote on his

There could be even more to come—Trojan has said the giveaway is “postponed.”