When companies have promotions for a big event, they can either go really well or look very bad.
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Ubisoft just released Watch Dogs, and did a great job of informing people about the game and what it’s about. However, there was an incident in Australia where the PR team went a bit too far in trying to promote the game.
According to Mumbrella, there were reports that a bomb squad was called to the Sydney, Australia offices of a major Australian online publication Ninemsn after the company received promotional material for Watch Dogs inside of a beeping safe.
Ninemsn has confirmed this story, saying a reporter was sent a black safe and a blacked-out note asking them to “check their voicemail.” The reporter doesn’t use voicemail when they went to open the safe, it began to beep. The editorial staff reached out to other news publications to see if they were also sent a similar package, and when none said they had, ninemsn called the police to inform them of the matter.
The floor that had the beeping safe was evacuated and four police cars and a “police rescue unit” were dispatched to the scene. The officers scanned the safe and forced it open in the basement of the building.
What they found inside the safe was a copy of Watch Dogs, and it was odd because ninemsn doesn’t cover video games.
“The PR company no doubt got carried away with their creativity and ended up sending us something the bomb squad had to open up,” ninemsn editor Hal Crawford said.
A representative from Ubisoft in Australia told Polygon the voicemails and packages were part of a promotional effort to hype the recent release of 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,” Ubisoft said in a statement. “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.”