DIARY: A grand attempt at toning down the game of theft

The folk at Mark Borkowski Press and PR have short memories. After the storm over its promotion of Grand Theft Auto, Simon Jobling told PR Week only two weeks ago that the sequel, Grand Theft Auto 2, would not go down the PR controversy route.

The folk at Mark Borkowski Press and PR have short memories. After

the storm over its promotion of Grand Theft Auto, Simon Jobling told PR

Week only two weeks ago that the sequel, Grand Theft Auto 2, would not

go down the PR controversy route.



’You cannot keep playing the controversy card. It is fair enough for a

one-off hit, but you cannot keep saying this or that is more

controversial, the consumers are too clever to be taken-in,’ Jobling

earnestly claimed.



Yet the press release promoting GTA2 is all too keen to express the

violence and controversial aspect of the game. It says: ’Justly branded

by church and state as sick, deluded and beneath contempt, this most

politically incorrect product met with a storm of praise from 2.5

million deranged gamers worldwide.’



And if you are in any doubt, it goes on to show that seven gangs are

scheming and plotting ’unspeakable action’, again emphasising the

violence.



It then asks: ’Do you join the Russian Mafia, Yakuza’s futuristic drugs

empire, the brainwashing Krishna kidnappers, Red Neck nutters, Zaibatsu

the calculating recreational chemicals corporation, steely espionage

scientists or simply throw in your lot with the out-and-out

loonies?’



Defending the position taken on the product, Leone Sakey, GTA2 account

director at Mark Borkowski, said: ’The initial press release is just one

part of the overall campaign.’



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