It was only meant to be a light-hearted promotion for a theme park - nobody was meant to be left homeless.
But because of it, hundreds of little people have been cast asunder by their families and left helpless and alone.
Alton Towers is now putting out a call to find new homes for 200 garden gnomes, left behind when a Gnomes Go Free promotion got a little out of hand.
The promotion, initiated originally as a tongue-in-cheek, if somewhat mystifying, response to the recently published book Bollocks to Alton Towers, allowed people free admission if they brought along a gnome to Staffordshire tourist attraction.
" We seem to have unwittingly created a 'gnome mountain", said Mike Lorimer from Alton Towers.
"By coming along with a garden gnome, over 1,000 guests have qualified for free park entry during May but the adrenaline from the rides must have gone to their heads as a great many of them have forgotten to take their gnomes home at the end of the day.
"We now have a mini colony of gnomes alone, all needing a home so we thought we would put out an appeal - any guests visiting Alton Towers are welcome to visit our Guest Services department where the gnome creche is situated in order to adopt a gnome."