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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AvalongodAgain I think we're conflating the issue of whether Sarkeesian's claims are beyond critique (no they're not) and whether its ever appropriate to use sexist language, let alone physical threats on a woman to intimidate her (no it isn't)08/29/2014 - 5:04pm
prh99Trolling her or trying to assail her integrity just draws more attention (Streisand effect?). Which is really not what the trolls want, so the only way to win (if there is a win to be had) is not to play/troll.08/29/2014 - 5:02pm
prh99Who cares, just don't watch the damn videos if you don't like her. Personally, I don't care as far as she is concerned as long there are interesting games to be played.08/29/2014 - 4:34pm
Andrew EisenZip - And yet, you can't cite a single, solitary example. (And no one said you hated anyone. Along those lines, no one claimed Sarkeesian was perfect either.)08/29/2014 - 3:51pm
Andrew EisenSaint's Row: Gat Out of Hell was just announced for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One making it the 150th game For Everything But Wii U! Congratulations Deep Silver!08/29/2014 - 3:49pm
ZippyDSMleeI do not hate them jsut think its mostly hyperlobe.08/29/2014 - 3:40pm
Andrew EisenSleaker - I'd say that's likely. From my experience, most who have a problem with Sarkeesian's videos either want to hate them in the first place (for whatever reason) or honestly misunderstand what they're about and what they're saying.08/29/2014 - 3:16pm
james_fudgeWe appreciate your support :)08/29/2014 - 2:55pm
TechnogeekIt gives me hope that maybe, just maybe, the gaming community is not statistically indistinguishable from consisting entirely of people that your average Xbox Live caricature would look at and go "maybe you should tone it down a little bit".08/29/2014 - 2:49pm
TechnogeekI just want to say that while I've disagreed with the staff of this site on several occasions, it's still good to see that they're not automatically dismissing Anita's videos as a "misandrist scam" or whatever the preferred dismissive term is these days.08/29/2014 - 2:49pm
E. Zachary KnightZippy, So you can't find even one?08/29/2014 - 1:04pm
ZippyDSMleeAndrew Eisen:Right because shes prefect and never exaggerates... *rolls eyes*08/29/2014 - 12:53pm
SleakerAnd honestly, nearly all of the games she references, or images she depicts I've always cringed at and wondered why they were included in games to begin with, from pinups through explicit sexual depictions or direct abuse. I think it's cheap storytelling.08/29/2014 - 12:35pm
Sleaker@AE - aren't most people fundamentally misunderstanding her at this point? haha.. On a related note I think a lot of the backlash is coming from males that think she is telling them their 'Generic Male Fantasy' is bad and wrong.08/29/2014 - 12:33pm
Andrew EisenAnd no, I don't think the female community would be upset over the performance of a case study in and of itself. Possibly the mostivations behind such a study, the methodology or conclusions but not the mere idea of a case study.08/29/2014 - 12:29pm
Andrew EisenAmusingly, these videos aren't saying you can't/shouldn't use tropes or that sexual representations are inherently problematic so those are very silly things to have a problem with and indicate a fundamental misunderstanding of the series.08/29/2014 - 12:29pm
SleakerDo you think the female community would get extremely angry over a male doing a case study on the negative impact of sex-novels and their unrealistic depiction of males and how widespread they are in american culture?08/29/2014 - 12:25pm
SleakerThe other thing that people might find problematic is that they see no problem with sexual representations of females (or males) in games. And realistically, why is there anything wrong with sexual representations in fiction?08/29/2014 - 12:24pm
SleakerTo even discuss or bring up these issues at a cultural level to begin with. Going straight for games to many probably feels like a huge overstepping given that it's interactive story in many cases, and when you're telling a story why can't you use tropes.08/29/2014 - 12:21pm
SleakerI think a large part of the controversy stems from the idea that games aren't culture setters, but culture reactors, and simply depict what is already in culture. So people don't care that games use tropes or are blind to them because we've failed ...08/29/2014 - 12:20pm
 

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