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Social media sensation as merry men steal circus llama

November 8, 2013 Headline News, Social Media No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59The power of social media as a publicity tool has been proved in bizarre manner after a group of five tipsy young men from the French city of Bordeaux stole a llama from a circus and took it for a ride on a tram.

Bordeaux, popular with tourists and known principally for its excellent red wine, also boasts a fine tram system, dating from 1880 when the first trams were towed by horses. The city has just added new trams as part of a tourism revival strategy.  Facebook

The five local men, in festive state in the middle of the night, having been drinking at a club, befriended the llama, named Serge, and decided that the animal should experience the city’s new trams with them. They persuaded Serge to accompany them and posted the pics of their adventures on social media sites as they went.

The five revellers, plus Serge, boarded a tram at Bassins à Flot station. All appeared to enjoy the trip but the tram driver, noticing that the only sober member of the group was not human, alerted police who arrested the five at the next station.

What happened next testifies to the power of social media.

Serge was returned unharmed and the escapade brought so much publicity to the circus, Cirque Franco-Italian, that its director dropped all charges. Instead of having to cry “roll up, ladies and gentlemen!” social media did the job.

“It’s amazing,” John Beautour, director of Cirque Franco-Italian, told the French newspaper 20 Minutes. “The incident became a huge media event. They’re talking about it from Australia to Poland.”

A Facebook page has been set up. It’s in French and it has 850,000 likes at last count. Serge even has his own Tumblr page with photoshopped images of the animal, who has become a sort of four-legged superstar.

Written by : Peter Needham

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