WHAT: A heavily promoted French publicity stunt that attracted huge crowds expecting a cash handout degenerated into serious violence after being canceled. Marketing Web site mailorama.fr called off its plan to throw envelopes of cash to passers-by from atop a bus Saturday after thousands of Parisians turned up and began spilling over security barriers.
HOW MUCH DAMAGE: Shop windows were smashed, at least one car was overturned by hooded youths, and photographers and cameramen were attacked. Riot police broke up the disturbances, and about 10 people were arrested.
WHAT’S BEING DONE: The sponsors emphasized that they received official permission and expected only a “friendly, enjoyable and good natured” cash giveaway. To help make amends, they will donate to charity the $148,800 they had intended to toss to the crowd.