Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Friday, November 12, 2010

Zynga-Hired Advertiser to Pay City $45,000 for Illegal Guerrilla Marketing

Posted By on Fri, Nov 12, 2010 at 1:15 PM

click to enlarge Meyer Lansky would not be impressed.
  • Meyer Lansky would not be impressed.

The company hired by San Francisco-based social game developer Zynga to promote one of its games has agreed to pay the city $45,000 in fines for illegal marketing tactics, City Attorney Dennis Herrera announced today.

Back in August, the city attorney's office went to the mattresses against Zynga after public-works officials discovered fake $25,000 bills -- advertising the new Zynga release Mafia Wars: Las Vegas -- glued to sidewalks. The gaming company was let off the hook after the firm it had hired to oversee marketing of the game, Davis Elen Advertising, took full responsibility for what the city attorney's office had deemed "illegal and actionable" acts of vandalism.

"The so-called 'guerilla marketers' who deface public property in San Francisco may think they're being clever, but they're nothing more than lawless vandals-for-hire," said Herrera. "Graffiti vandalism is illegal, and when it's done as corporate advertising, it's also actionable as an unlawful business practice."

This sort of thing isn't all that unusual. Microsoft just admitted to stenciling allegedly illegal advertisements along Valencia Street.

Still, in the press release issued by Herrera, Zynga almost comes across as heroic for hiring a company that proceeded to market its products unlawfully. "I'm very grateful to Zynga for its good corporate citizenship in working with us to identify the culprits, and I'm glad that Davis Elen Advertising accepted responsibility for its wrongdoing," Herrera said in the statement.

In a mafioso's terms, you might say that Davis Elen was the fall guy.

Follow us on Twitter at @TheSnitchSF and @SFWeekly

  • Pin It

Tags: , , , , , ,

About The Author

Peter Jamison


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"