This Day in the History of Hoaxes: June 5

June 5, 1961: Piotr Zak
On this day, the highbrow BBC radio show network Third Programme presented an "avant-garde work" titled "Mobile for Tape and Percussion" by the Polish composer Piotr Zak, who was said to be one of the youngest and most controversial figures in modern music. Two months later, the BBC confessed that Piotr Zak didn't exist. A company BBC spokesman explained, "We dragged together all the instruments we could and went around the studio banging them… It was an experiment to demonstrate that some contemporary compositions are so obscure as to be indistinguishable from tapes of percussion played at random." [wikipedia]

June 5, 2000: Shades for Men Lipstick
Ads appeared on the side of Toronto buses announcing the launch of a men's lipstick line called "Shades for Men." However, this product never went on sale. It turned out to be a hoax campaign used to test the effectiveness of bus advertising as a vehicle for launching new products.

This Day in History

Posted on Thu Jun 05, 2014


It appears to be Coral Blue #3...
Posted by Dana  in  South Carolina  on  Fri Jun 06, 2014  at  01:59 PM
Piotr Zak:
The "company spokesman" must have been a time-traveler since the BBC ceased to be a company in 1926.

Also, the "Third Programme" was radio station - not a "show".
Posted by Lawrence M  in  UK  on  Sun Jun 08, 2014  at  10:38 AM
Lawrence M -- Good to know. Thanks for the correction!
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Tue Jun 10, 2014  at  04:55 PM