Gizmodo rep banned from CES after prank

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 12, 2008
Updated • Dec 10, 2012

In the article entitled Confessions: The Meanest Thing Gizmodo Did at CES Brian Lam describes how they used a device called TV-B-Gone to turn off television screens at this years CES. They even created a video that is available at their website showing what they did. They did turn off televisions during at least one press conference and numerous presentations and did publish the video on their website.

The problem is that the conference's organizer, the Consumer Electronics Association, saw the video as well and immediately banned the Gizmodo rep from all future CES shows and is even considering further actions against Gizmodo and its parent company Gawker. At least Brian Lam has been involved in this incident as well because he states in a comment at Valleywag that he gave the order to do it but to not disturb press conferences.

My personal opinion is that this was a bad joke. I would not think that it's much of a problem to turn some televisions off during the show but the disturbance at the press conference was on a different level. What's your stance on the matter?

Update: The video is no longer available on the website, and we have removed the link to it as a consequence.

Update 2: The video has been posted on YouTube, and you can check it out below in full length.

Afgter seeing it, I think it went too far considering that it could have hurt the reputation of vendors in the process. Imagine if a potential buyer went by only to see that the TVs did not really work that well, as they seemed to turn off automatically from time to time. Would you take your business elsewhere or give the company the benefit of the doubt?



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  1. D3 said on January 13, 2008 at 6:41 am

    I thought it was really funny but ill placed heh some people need to take sand out of their vagina’s geez

  2. Nick said on January 13, 2008 at 4:02 am

    It is not original. Lazlow was talking about doing this a couple years ago. Still funny as hell though.

  3. Chris said on January 12, 2008 at 5:09 pm

    On my webpage, I asked my readers what they think about it and so far 9 said it’s okay and 7 said it’s not. I expected a bit different result…

    Man, it was CES!!!
    People go there to see things
    and companies go there to show things
    and Gizmodo ruined part of it.

  4. Dante said on January 12, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    Gizmodo: punk kids who haven’t grown up. Don’t need these kind of imbeciles. Sure, they speak to the youth of today. But give them 1 1/2 year and they become irrelevant. Ban them and than ignore them.

  5. David Dunn said on January 12, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    I reckon that when they turned off all the screens on the wall that wasn’t bad and possibly quite funny. But when they turned TV screens off during presentations – I found that very wrong!

  6. Ma Petite Mort said on January 12, 2008 at 4:07 pm

    I don’t like that kind of jokes. Maybe using a nice hack i would have loved it.

    But using an already done toy … It reminds me of “script kiddies” .

    Not serious at all.

  7. Pepijn said on January 12, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    It was fun but the press conference was over the line like you said. The just shouldn’t have posted it on there site anyways next time there will be some other guy doing this. And i think they will not ban Gizmodo because of the good reviews about there products and stuff. Because i think this stunt spread like wild fire.

    If There’s any bad english above then excuse me i am dutch. (Nice editing thingy!!)

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