ICYMI, social media was abuzz over the weekend after multiple news outlets reported that the SM Mall of Asia globe — you know, that gigantic metallic sculpture in front of the fourth biggest shopping mall in the Philippines — was “stolen.”
News reports linked to dashcam footage of the hefty globe being airlifted by a helicopter in the night.
“Spot this guys,” a certain Chester Tangonan wrote in Filipino, “My dashcam just caught the Moa Globe being taken! What was that?”
SM Mall of Asia (MoA) management even released a statement saying it was “cooperating with authorities” on the robbery.
After a day of confusion (including an interview with local police saying that no robbery was reported to them in the first place), certain suspicions were confirmed: the large-scale heist was revealed to be none other than a publicity stunt for the newest Netflix film Red Notice, starring Dwayne Johnson, Ryan Reynolds, and Gal Gadot.
While it certainly got people’s attention, there were those who were not amused, particularly by how major news publications packaged the stunt as a news story.
Journalism professor Danilo Arao admonished media companies for publishing the stunt as a legitimate news report:
DEAR DOMINANT MEDIA GATEKEEPERS: Putting a disclaimer ("Editor’s note: This article was provided by Netflix.") does not justify packaging a publicity stunt as a news article. The news media should provide relevant information, not profit-oriented deception. Red notice is on you!— Danilo Arao (@dannyarao) November 14, 2021
That said, this didn’t stop the internet from having a bit of fun with the PR stunt. True to Pinoy humor, a horde of posts selling the MOA Globe popped up on Facebook Marketplace.
“Sellers” posted their “RFS” (reason for selling), each one as creative as the other.
One of them stated the obvious: “Tapos (nang) gamitin sa Netflix for publicity stunt,” (Netflix’s publicity stunt is done) requesting that only “sure buyers” contact him.
Meanwhile, another requested cash on delivery done via helicopter, of course.
Another seller promised that the item was only “slightly used”—its only issue being that it had no stand and was rather dusty (probably after being a popular road landmark for years).
One of them even called the item “used but not abused” with “unli check upon meetup”—in true sneakerhead fashion.
Naturally, this was all done in jest, and the MOA Globe never truly left its spot—only hidden behind massive scaffolding.
In any case, the mall released another statement claiming that it had been safely returned this morning, and that management was placing the area under “Red Notice”—effectively putting an end to the stunt.