A PR stunt designed to drum up hype for the release of Watch Dogs led to a police bomb squad being called to the offices of Australia's ninemsn. And here's today's lesson on how not to do PR.
According to the London Evening Standard, a ninemsn employee was sent a black safe with a note telling her to "check her voicemail." That alone would've been creepy enough, but just the night before she had already received a hang-up message from an unknown number. Upon attempting to open the safe, which was reportedly similar to those found in hotel rooms, it began to beep, which is when the staff called the police and evacuated the building.
Turns out, inside the safe was a copy of Watch Dogs.
"There was a bunch of reasons this ended up looking weird," said ninemsn's Hal Crawford. "The PR company no doubt got carried away with their creativity and ended up sending us something the bomb squad had to open up."
What's worse, ninemsn doesn't even cover video games.
A spokesperson for Ubisoft offered the following explanation: "As part of a themed promotion for Watch Dogs, our team in Australia sent voicemail messages to some local media alerting them that they’d receive a special package related to the game.
"Unfortunately, the delivery to Ninemsn didn't go as planned, and we unreservedly apologize to Ninemsn’s staff for the mistake and for any problems caused as a result. We will take additional precautions in the future to ensure this kind of situation doesn’t happen again.”
What would you make of the situation if sent the black box?