Hit or Miss - Electronic Arts causes traffic chaos in petrol giveaway

Petrol heads Electronic Arts gave away petrol worth £20,000 to motorists in north London last week to promote its latest computer game, Mercenaries 2: World in Flames.

The stunt caused gridlock and flared tempers as drivers waited up to an hour at a garage in the Finsbury Park area. Local MP Lynne Featherstone was quoted across the national media, calling the stunt 'irresponsible'.

HOW I SEE IT - Mike Mathieson, CEO Cake

There's a fine line between a stunt creating attention and being a downright PR disaster. The upside is an entertaining campaign that drives awareness throughout the target demographic. The downside is that client-side corporate PR might have to manage a potential crisis. It's something that creative PR agencies and their clients have to weigh up all the time, particularly in this sector, where there is a mutual desire to be more inclined towards a risk-taking culture. Gaming consumers are well used to software publishers being controversial and this stunt follows a long line of both successes and failures in engaging their audience. Ideas like this that break the mould will always be worth risking. - HIT.

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