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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E. Zachary KnightWonder, I know you can revise content and resubmit it, but I can't findany information about a formal appeals process.05/28/2015 - 7:27pm
Wonderkarpever wonder if there's an appeals process for AO?05/28/2015 - 6:55pm
Matthew WilsonDanny and Andy play the first couple of levels of the upcoming Hatred http://www.gamespot.com/videos/hatred-gamespot-plays/2300-6425016/ imho it does not look like it should be AO.05/28/2015 - 5:57pm
Andrew EisenHey, remember Kung Fury? That short film that was funded via Kickstarter a few years ago? You can watch it now. I suggest you do. It's fun! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bS5P_LAqiVg05/28/2015 - 5:14pm
Goth_SkunkOriginally, yes. Some content was cut out in order to reduce its ratign from AO down to M, but PC users could work around that an unlock the full content by means of a patch. Which is what I did. :D05/28/2015 - 3:56pm
Andrew EisenKarp - Yes, for strong sexual content. Although the recent remaster contains all that content and was rated M.05/28/2015 - 3:54pm
Andrew EisenDepends on if you consider Hatred misrated. I haven't played the game or seen the ESRB's rating summary so I'm undecided.05/28/2015 - 3:53pm
WonderkarpDidnt Fahrenheit have an AO?05/28/2015 - 3:52pm
Matthew Wilson@AE that is why I said it seems more moral panic to me.05/28/2015 - 3:51pm
Andrew EisenMatthew - From what I've seen (just the trailers) the game is nowhere near as gory as many, many other games. But again, I'm guessing the AO rating comes from theme and tone rather than outright gore.05/28/2015 - 3:50pm
Andrew EisenKarp - It didn't show penetration or nudity.05/28/2015 - 3:50pm
WonderkarpI'd say Mortal Kombat X has more Gore and Violence than Hatred.05/28/2015 - 3:50pm
Matthew Wilsonwhat I mean by worse in this case its not more gory/violent than others.05/28/2015 - 3:48pm
WonderkarpI forget....did Hot Coffee actually show Penetration?05/28/2015 - 3:48pm
Andrew EisenKarp - The Skyrim mods are external mods. The Hot Coffee mod unlocked content on the disc. Big difference. Still, the content that was unlocked was still perfectly in line with an M rating in my opinion.05/28/2015 - 3:47pm
Andrew EisenThemes are factored into ratings, not just mechanics. Still waiting for ESRB's rating summary. Very curious to see what it has to say.05/28/2015 - 3:46pm
Matthew WilsonHatred is a top down shooter though, and isnt any worse than other top down shooters?05/28/2015 - 3:45pm
Wonderkarpyeah, San Andreases rerating was ridiculous. Why not rerate Skyrim with all its crazy sex mods out there? But yeah, ESRB is good as policing itself. 05/28/2015 - 3:45pm
Andrew EisenManhunt 2 and Hatred though? Eh, there's an argument to be made for the higher rating.05/28/2015 - 3:43pm
Andrew EisenRerating San Andreas was a mistake though. That seemed to be the result of kowtowing to public pressure.05/28/2015 - 3:42pm
 

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