Marketing stunt closes down historic graveyard in Boston

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BOSTON —- Less than a month after highways and bridges were shut down during a bomb scare touched off by an advertising stunt, a new marketing scheme has led angry city officials to shut down a historic site.

A clue in a Dr Pepper promotion suggested a coin that might be worth as much as $1 million was buried in the 347-year-old Granary Burying Ground, the final resting place of John Hancock, Paul Revere, Samuel Adams and other historic figures.

After contestants showed up at the cemetery gates early Tuesday, the city closed it, concerned that it would be damaged by treasure hunters.

"It absolutely is disrespectful," Boston Parks Commissioner Toni Pollak told The Boston Globe. "It's an affront to the people who are buried there, our nation's ancestors."

British candy and soft-drink maker Cadbury Schweppes PLC, which makes Dr Pepper, canceled the Boston portion of the 23-city coin-hunt promotion Thursday, acknowledging it had hidden the coin in the downtown graveyard that is visited by thousands of tourists each year.

[Later report:]
Valuable discovery: The Dr Pepper promotion's most valuable coin, redeemable for $1 million, was found by a Houston woman near the Spirit of Confederacy statue in Sam Houston Park, Cadbury Schweppes said Friday.

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