The case against two men charged in a botched advertising scheme that created a bomb scare in the Boston area could be resolved by the end of the month, a prosecutor said Wednesday.

Peter Berdovsky, 27, and Sean Stevens, 28, who have pleaded not guilty to placing a hoax device and disorderly conduct, appeared in court Wednesday but the hearing was continued to March 30.

"We've been in lengthy conversations. We hope to resolve the case before that," Assistant Attorney General John Grossman said. He did not release details.

None of the attorneys involved commented outside court. The two defendants, who had giggled through their first court appearance, were quiet Wednesday.

The ad scheme involved blinking signs, basically circuit boards with battery-powered lights that created images of a cartoon character making an obscene gesture.

They signs were designed to promote the Cartoon Network show "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" and were part of an advertising campaign by Turner Broadcasting Systems, a division of Time Warner Inc.

But the when the first device was spotted Jan. 31 attached to a support structure beneath Interstate 93, police, unaware of the ad campaign, called in the bomb squad. Bridges and roadways were shut down as more signs turned up, three dozen in all.

Turner Broadcasting and the advertising agency that carried out the campaign, Interference Inc., have since agreed to pay $2 million to cover the city's costs and for restitution. The head of the Cartoon Network resigned nine days after the stunt.