Advertising creative Geoffrey McGann’s weekend travel disaster teaches us to rethink our airport accessorizing choices.
McGann — who spent 15 years at W+K, worked at 72andSunny, and is currently the ECD at So-Cal based Generator Content — was arrested at Oakland airport Friday and held on $150,000 bond for having a watch that Alameda County Sgt. J.D. Nelson said had “all the components [to make an] improvised explosives device,” according to the L.A. Times.
McGann said that the watch, which had a toggle switch, fuses, and protruding wires, was art.
Although no explosives were found, McGann was still taken to Santa Rita Jail and was charged with possession of materials to produce an explosive device. Nelson was unimpressed with the creative’s explanation, citing that the TSA is always concerned that suspicious persons could be testing out a dry run for a future attack.
“He does do art kind of stuff, but what reasonable person would bring a watch like that into an airport and think that’s OK?” Nelson said. “You may have a toy gun as art, but would you bring it to the airport?”
Other fashion choices also got McGann in trouble:
1) Nelson noted that McGann was wearing a military style shirt with a built-in tourniquet in the sleeves.
2) He had shoes that were two sizes too big with a homemade empty cavity on the bottom. To the TSA, this looked similar to the way the shoe bomber stashed his explosives. McGann said he wore the shoes to look taller.
McGann said he was in San Francisco for a business day-trip from Los Angeles. Thus, he hadn’t checked a bag and only had a carry-on, sans clothing. That’s also a suspicious marker for the TSA.
We reached out to McGann for comment and haven’t yet heard back.