Talking Newspaper

The Times of India and The Hindu, two of the largest circulated papers in the world, released a special advertisement in their daily papers Tuesday, launching Volkswagen’s new sedan, the Vento.

When readers opened the paper to the back page, a light-sensitive, voice activated chip began reading out why you buy their new automobile. The “talking” advertisement — an audio rendering of the print commercial similar to a radio ad —was pasted on the final page of the paper’s special 10-page section. The talking newspaper became the talk of India.

Unsuspecting readers bolted upright when the advertisement voice activation began. In many parts of the country there were unintended consequences from startled readers.

The police in Delhi received numerous calls, particularly from elderly Indians, who were frightened and suspicious of the talking newspaper.

In Mumbai, the bomb squad was called out when passersby became suspicious of noises coming from discarded newspapers in trash bins. Some readers thought they were hearing the voice of a ghost.

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