Macy’s got punked. The fliers announced performances in Missoula, Montana, by Dave Matthews Band and other bands as a special “reinvesting in the community” “Goodbye Celebration” by Macy’s and Smurfit-Stone, two longtime businesses that had recently shut down and laid off hundreds of workers while top company executives received millions in bonuses. But Dave and his band would not be there, nor would Michael Franti or Slightly Stoopid. Nor the Mayor or the Governor. And there definitely would be no $5,000 prize drop. It was all a hoax hatched by angry ex-employees trying to draw attention to the negative economic impact the businesses’ departures would have on the community.
Fliers were pasted all over town, and a fake website was set up with a fake Macy’s rep. Tweets were sent out. A fake press release sent to local newspapers and radio stations said the concert was to “thank the city of Missoula for its many years of hard work and dedication to our enterprises.”
As later revealed on their website, the pranksters were galled by Smurfit-Stone congratulating themselves on being “well positioned for long term growth,” when they left, while still owing the state and state businesses over $22 million in debt. The organizers also suggested that the “unprofitable” mill be handed over to the long-time workers who might possibly turn it into a co-op enterprise.
Here is the flier:
Angry Workers Use Hoax to Jolt Missoula [thankyoumissoula]
Free “farewell” concert in downtown Missoula a hoax, officials say [Missoulian]
Debts, future of mill in spotlight with Smurfit-Stone set to detail bankruptcy plan [Missoulian]