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Hoax revealed after giant tourism mango vanishes

February 27, 2014 Destination Global, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59A bizarre hoax surrounding the disappearance of one of Australia’s popular Big Things was unravelling yesterday. A giant three-storey mango, which weighs 10 tonnes, vanished from outside the tourism information centre in the Tropical North Queensland town of Bowen.

The massive mango is a popular tourist attraction for visitors to Bowen, about halfway between Townsville and Mackay.

Before and after - Twitterpic of missing mango

Before and after – Twitterpic of missing mango

Owners of the 10-tonne landmark said it had been stolen. Various suggestions as to where it might be surfaced on Twitter. But reporters grew sceptical and the Guardian Australia pointed out that no police report had been filed. Even more suspicious – a Sydney advertising agency was involved.

Twitterpic showing possible location of giant mango

Twitterpic showing possible location of giant mango

Sure enough, the mango later turned up, concealed under a tarpaulin not far from the tourist information centre from where it had been taken.

Bowen tourism folk had been adamant the giant mango had been stolen, despite several elements of the case suggesting a marketing stunt.

Reports later revealed that the chicken restaurant chain Nando’s was claiming  responsibility. It’s unclear why, or quite what the angle of the publicity deal is.

Whatever it is, it seems to be working. News of the colossal mango’s sudden “theft”  made international headlines. The Bowen centre staff helped, sending out CCTV footage, photos and media releases. Wanted posters were distributed on Facebook.

Now it’s done, Bowen can sit back and wait for the tourist hordes to arrive.

Written by : Peter Needham

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