‘Lost’ in cyberspace

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The ABC series Lost has been known to promote itself via “missing” posters, but now, as part of a May sweeps promotional stunt, it’s doing an on- and offline game, “The Lost Experience," that fits nicely into our Scientology and Da Vinci Code saturated culture. According to this story, part of the game launched yesterday with quarter-page newspaper ads from something called the Hanso Foundation, saying that a book, called Bad Twin and “written” by one of the people who was on the doomed Oceanic Airlines flight that crashed as the series launched, was full of misinformation about the foundation. (Yes, the book is available on Amazon.) A TV spot, pictured here, which allegedly aired on ABC, says the foundation is “reaching out  to a better tomorrow,” a mission statement so blandly all-encompassing that it could mean almost anything. There’s even a toll-free phone number, (877) HANSORG. When we followed the prompts to speak with the foundation’s CEO, Alvar Hanso (who, per his bio, gave “munitions to various resistance movements around Europe” during World War II), we even heard a snippet of a Monster.com radio ad (did Monster pay for that?) while we were on hold. Then came one of the game’s clues—that Hanso is apparently, well, lost.

—Posted by Catharine P. Taylor