Send this to a wretched, drug-addled friend

There have been plenty of viral e-mail campaigns in recent years designed to frighten, humiliate or generally screw over your friends. (Predictably, they tend to be more popular than the happy-go-lucky, make-your-friend-feel-good stuff.) But now, one such effort in the U.K. has been deemed unacceptable. The campaign, for the movie Shifty, a British urban thriller, allowed people to send realistic-seeming mock police e-mails to their friends suggesting they were "involved in illegal drugs, had been named in a police interview and were at risk of criminal prosecution." Some people just can't take a joke, apparently. What, we can make people think they're being targeted by a serial killer, but we can't falsely accuse them of pushing drugs without them getting all butthurt over it? Metrodome Group, the advertiser, apologized for all the bother, and the Ad Standards Authority took its baby away. Good thing they didn't promote The Fugitive, in retrospect.

—Posted by David Kiefaber