Zynga in Hot Water with San Francisco for Mafia Wars Marketing Stunt

All press is good press, unless it results in jail time or huge city fines.

The City Attorney office of San Francisco has accused Zynga of “acts of sidewalk vandalism” in the form of gluing fake $25,000 bills to the sidewalks in San Francisco to promote it’s Mafia Wars: Vegas game.

Apparently its costing the city of San Francisco a lot of money to remove the fake cash which is stuck to the sidewalk with an adhesive similar to super glue.

In response, Zynga’s marketing partner, Davis Elen Advertising, has released a statement taking full responsibility, apologizing, and promising to immediately resolve the issue.

No word from Zynga yet, whose marketing team has just returned from Vegas where it blew up a truck with Snoop Dog as its MC.

This will get resolved quickly due to the fact that Zynga is now one of the fastest growing companies headquartered in San Francisco. Like US cities, San Francisco needs to raise revenues these days. The only ways it is raising cash for the city coffers now is through increasing payroll taxes from fast growing tech companies like Zynga and excessive parking ticketing (as yours truly can sadly attest to).

Nonetheless, there is irony here. Mafia Wars is a game where players, whose closest interaction with the Mafia is probably the fact they have watched the movie Good Fellas a few times on Cable TV, pretend to be gangsters.

Zynga’s marketing team is trying to be hard-core and gangster just like its game, blowing up trucks, glueing fake cash to sidewalks, etc.

Yet, at the very moment the city of San Francisco comes calling, Zynga’s reaction to hide behind its marketing partner and let them take the blame. The Don would not approve.

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