A duck was spotted on a subway platform yesterday

But unlike the subway kittens, this wasn't an adorable accident—it was an attempt at viral marketing. Which seems to have worked.

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See what your viral marketing hath wrought?

See what your viral marketing hath wrought? Photograph: @AflacDuck

A few weeks back, Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota became the face of New York City's anti-cuteness platform when he suggested that he would not have stopped train service to rescue a pair of adorable kittens frolicking on the tracks. He said nothing, though, about waterfowl, and a duck was spotted on the uptown N/R station platform at 23rd Street yesterday. Kittens, a dead shark, and now this? When did the subway become a wildlife refuge? (The rats will have to move quickly if they want to defend their natural habitat from these interlopers.)


But the duck's presence, it turns out, wasn't the result of global warming affecting mallard migratory patterns. No, our waddling friend was a plant, a viral marketing ploy by Aflac. As expected, the MTA is none too happy about all the resulting hullabaloo, because if there is one thing we hate during our morning commute, it's hullabaloo.


But if the MTA really wants to nip this kind of thing in the bud, it should probably adopt its own official mascot. We all know what species best represents the city's public transportation, but the question of what to name it remains. Rizzo? Ricardo? Reginald? René? 



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Editor: Marley Lynch (@marleyasinbob)

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