Dr Mumbo

When a PR stunt bombs

NineMSN's giftAttention PR people.

Journalists are sympathetic to your need to stand out amid the bumf we get sent.

But when sending a press release to a newsroom to promote a snazzy new product, it’s probably not a good idea to send something that looks very much like a bomb, comes with a suspicious letter and an instruction to listen to a voice mail message.

In the end, after the Sydney offices of NineMSN had been evacuated and bomb squad officers called in yesterday, it turned out that the mysterious box was a promotion for Watch Dogs, a video game made by Ubisoft.

Inside was a copy of the game with a baseball cap, a beanie, and a note saying the story was embargoed until 5pm.

The editor of Ninemsn Hal Crawford told Mumbrella’s Australia site: “This is definitely the other side of the line in terms of what it’s safe for a PR company to send anonymously to a newsroom. The thing was black, heavy and slightly creepy.”

With something of an understatement, Ubisoft has since declared that the stunt “did not go as planned” and apologised. The company had been unable to leave a crucial voicemail for the journalist it was addressed to explaining what was going on.

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