Back in my misspent college years, one of my few student activities was working on the student newspaper at Rose-Hulman, the Rose Thorn. Out of boredom—and frankly a frequent lack of real advertising, since we typically gave a local pizza chain a quarter-page ad in exchange for sustenance for the staff, accounting for a sizable chunk of our income—the various people involved in production would frequently insert fake classified ads into the publication. One creation I was personally proud of was a bogus ad for an emerging spring break destination—the various and sundry republics of the former Soviet Union, complete with a fake telephone number (1–8xx-FUN-IN-CIS) to obtain further details. Presumably—hopefully!—the IQs of our readers were sufficiently high that nobody was actually being bothered by obnoxious phone calls looking for information on these exciting tour packages.
Fast forward a decade and a half, and now the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea may be getting in on the act for real. Frankly I think my fake ads may have turned out to have been more effective in drumming up interest in unorthodox Spring Break destinations. And whatever you do, don”t stay at the Ryugyong even if the doctored pictures in the brochure look nice.