Marketing Stunt Lands Zynga in Hot Water with San Francisco

August 23, 2010 -

Social game powerhouse Zynga may be the most powerful force on Facebook but it may find itself faced with a challenger it can't overcome: the San Francisco City Attorney's office. The San Francisco City Attorney's office is going after Zynga for what it is calling an "illegal and actionable" act involving a marketing campaign to promote the company's latest product in the Mafia Wars franchise - Mafia Wars: Las Vegas.

In a letter released today, Deputy City Attorney Alex Tse said that Zynga committed "documented acts of sidewalk vandalism" to advertise the new Mafia Wars game using fake $25,000 bills that were glued to sidewalks in San Francisco. The fake bills contained a message directing people to a Mafia Wars website. While the stunt might sound amusing to the casual observer, the City Attorney isn't laughing.

"The City Attorney takes violations such as these very seriously, and intends to pursue every available cause of action aggressively against Zynga for these illegal marketing tactics," Tse writes.

In the letter, Tse demands that Zynga "provide the City full information regarding the nature and extent of the marketing campaign affecting the public way in the City, identify all parties other than Zynga responsible for this campaign, and provide the City with a proposal to fully resolve the issue."

The company plans some other questionable marketing stunts to promote this game including blowing up a truck in the Nevada desert this evening with rapper Snoop Dogg -on hand, fo shizzle, to enjoy the fanfare.

Source: San Francisco Weekly


Comments

Re: Marketing Stunt Lands Zynga in Hot Water with San ...

But WAS Snoop in the van?! We need confirmation!

 

(I actually like Snoop and would have said this whichever celeb was involved)

Re: Marketing Stunt Lands Zynga in Hot Water with San ...

I gotta commend Zynga on this highly successful marketing stunt. Whatever fine they will have to pay to the city of San Francisco pales in comparison to what they would have had to spend to get this much news and media coverage through legitimate means

Re: Marketing Stunt Lands Zynga in Hot Water with San ...

Er um... Sidewalk vandalism?  This is something that the DA's office is getting their shorts in a bunch over?   Basically a fine, slap on the wrist and "Next" seems more in order. 

While I have not love for Zynga I mean; please this is worth effort or note?

Insanity is inherited.  Parents get it from their children. 

 

Re: Marketing Stunt Lands Zynga in Hot Water with San ...

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/102938-Zynga-In-Trouble-Over-M...

"Ungluing the bills reportedly takes a steam cleaner 45 minutes, and annoying paperwork. Total cleanup costs are still unknown."

So I can see why the city would be upset. 

Re: Marketing Stunt Lands Zynga in Hot Water with San ...

 They blew up the truck a few days ago.

Re: Marketing Stunt Lands Zynga in Hot Water with San ...

Just now Zynga is landing in hot water for something? After stories of people recieving huge phone charges because they bought soemthing from Zynga?

Re: Marketing Stunt Lands Zynga in Hot Water with San ...

Not to mention closing down games that people had spent actual money on in an entirely callous and insensitive manner. Whilst, to a certain degree, I don't agree with 'pay as you go' style of games, and those people who invested did so voluntarily, Zynga could at least try to pretend that they have some level of respect for the consumers.

Re: Marketing Stunt Lands Zynga in Hot Water with San ...

"Zynga could at least try to pretend that they have some level of respect for the consumers."

That would just be adding insult to injury.

Re: Marketing Stunt Lands Zynga in Hot Water with San ...

Zynga... Not only does it sound like a really badly spelt Hamburger, something you'd buy in a 'New Age' cafe, where the last few letters of the alphabet finally start the rebellion at their under-use and possibly a prosthetic sex-toy, but it's also a company whose business behaviour is probably lower-brow than any of the previously mentioned items.

 
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Matthew WilsonI doubt it will change much.10/20/2014 - 7:21pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.bbc.com/news/technology-29689949 Google's current piracy fighting plan.10/20/2014 - 6:58pm
Andrew EisenYikes. http://boingboing.net/2014/10/20/vultures-circle-gamergate.html10/20/2014 - 6:25pm
Neo_DrKefkaDestructoid Editor in Chief stepping down after allegations surface about blacklisting will he be next? http://allmannerofnerdery.tumblr.com/post/100526443850/im-leaving-destructoid10/20/2014 - 6:05pm
james_fudgethere's some inside baseball stuff going on in this Andrew - likely some stuff we don't know10/20/2014 - 3:30pm
E. Zachary KnightGreat musical video about online trolling. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nS-QeM2ne810/20/2014 - 2:46pm
Andrew EisenBut again, this whole thing is just too damn vague to form an opinion on.10/20/2014 - 2:40pm
Andrew EisenWithout the original communication, it's impossible to say if it could honestly be misconstrued as a friendly suggestion rather than an employer directive. However, it appears that subsequent emails should have cleared up any doubt.10/20/2014 - 2:40pm
Andrew EisenThose aren't the owner's words, they're Chris Dahlen's. For what it's worth, we do see an email from Gonzalez stating "you've already broken the only rule we set for you!!!!!!!"10/20/2014 - 2:38pm
Michael ChandraSo really the guy's own words strike me as "wah! How dare you disagree with me!" behaviour, which is the sort of childish attitude I am unfortunately not surprised by.10/20/2014 - 2:17pm
Michael ChandraCorrect AE, but then again the owner's own words are about "wishes", not about an order. No "we told him not to", but going against his wishes.10/20/2014 - 2:16pm
Matthew Wilsonyup. sadly that has been true for awhile.10/20/2014 - 2:10pm
james_fudgewelcome to 2014 politics. Increasingly fought online10/20/2014 - 1:54pm
E. Zachary KnightIt is honestly a shame that anyone has to publicly state they are against such vile behavior, but that is the sad life we live.10/20/2014 - 1:46pm
E. Zachary KnightDecided to publicly reiterate my opposition to harassment campaigns. http://randomtower.com/2014/10/just-stop-with-the-harassment-and-bullying-campaigns-already/10/20/2014 - 1:45pm
Andrew EisenMichael Chandra - Unless I overlooked it, we haven't seen how the directive to not talk about whatever he wasn't supposed to talk about was phrased so it’s hard to say if it could have been misconstrued as a suggestion or not.10/20/2014 - 12:35pm
Andrew EisenHey, the second to last link is the relevant one! He actually did say "let them suffer." Although, he didn't say it to the other person he was bickering with.10/20/2014 - 12:29pm
Neo_DrKefkahttps://archive.today/F14zZ https://archive.today/SxFas https://archive.today/1upoI https://archive.today/0hu7i https://archive.today/NsPUC https://archive.today/fLTQv https://archive.today/Wpz8S10/20/2014 - 11:21am
Andrew EisenNeo_DrKefka - "Attacking"? Interesting choice of words. Also interesting that you quoted something that wasn't actually said. Leaving out a relevant link, are you?10/20/2014 - 11:04am
quiknkoldugh. I want to know why the hell Mozerella Sticks are 4 dollars at my works cafeteria...are they cooked in Truffle Oil?10/20/2014 - 10:41am
 

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