Viral Campaign “Mafia Wars” Causes Uproar

Zynga’s “Mafia Wars“, the multiplayer browser game available on the PC, Mac OS and iPhone is now under criticism with the way it has advertised it’s viral marketing campaign. Zynga who are renowned for the development of their games and providing entertainment for millions of players are worth an estimated $4 billion. News surrounding the campaign has seen The San Francisco City Attorney having to write a letter to Zynga, accusing them of “sidewalk vandalism” in the promotion of the game.

According to Samuel Axon at Mashable, the recent viral marketing campaign was set up and organised by an ad agency called “Davis Ellen Advertising”, and Zynga were said to authorize the agency to plant fake $25,000 bills across the sidewalks of the city. For those who came across one they would be directed to the address of the Mafia Wars website where they would gain further information on Mafia Wars: Las Vegas.

The Wall Street Journal have reported that the bills have now been removed and Davis Ellen Advertising have taken full responsibility for their actions and apologised to the city.

What are your thoughts on this story? Despite the controversy, do you think it is a good way of advertising? Give us your comments below. To read more on this check out Mashable