TUSCUMBIA, Ala. (AP) — A gimmicky promotion about an alien takeover at a radio station wound up scaring some residents of a north Alabama community.

Star 94.9 is changing formats in Tuscumbia, so it used a marketing ploy in which aliens take over the station to figure out what type of music appeals to humans.

But the promotion apparently scared some people.

The TimesDaily reports that concerned parents and students called police and schools, and the station says it received phone calls, too.

Tuscumbia school superintendent Mary Kate Smith says absenteeism was up slightly Thursday, and she fielded a call from a worried parent. Police increased patrols at schools to ease concerns.

Station programming director Brian Rickman is apologizing for the confusion. He says the station didn’t foresee any problems with the promotion.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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