Zynga Mafia Wars Stickers Prompt City Attorney to Go to the Mattresses
|Yes, money is power. But having the Unfair Competition Law at your disposal is power, too.|
No, not really. But the city is evoking the Unfair Competition Law, which would mandate Davis Elen to not only reimburse the city for the cost of power-blasting the stickers off city walkways -- probably a six-figure payout -- but disgorge profits as well.
"It's not sufficient for them to pay to clean it up," said city attorney spokesman Matt Dorsey. "They have to pay more."
The city initially turned its wrath on local social gaming company Zynga for the ads, but Davis Elen subsequently claimed full responsibility for what the city attorney is calling an "illegal and actionable" guerrilla marketing campaign.
|A DPW worker sends Mafia Wars stickers to sleep with the fishes|
It isn't certain how much of a cleaning bill the city intends to stick Davis Elen with -- and how much more it could demand using the Unfair Competition Law. But here's the tally of guerrilla marketers busted in the past:
- In 2001, IBM was made to cough up $110,000 for illegal stenciling
- In 2005, NBC Universal paid $103,000 after unlawful stencils advertising The 4400, a show that did last somewhat longer than those stencils.
- In 2007, Turner Broadcasting shelled out $85,000 for after installing 20 lightboxes promoting the Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie; This stunt, by the way, led heavy handed Boston officials to declare a handful of Lite-Brite art installations were a potential terrorist threat. Turner ended up bleeding some $2 million to settle the matter in Beantown.
When it comes to taking this case to court, Tse advises the Mafia Wars advertisers to leave the gun -- and take his cannoli.
"While it would be my preference to avoid filing a civil complaint in this matter, this office has successfully pursued actions in past (sic) for the very same conduct at issue here," he writes. "I encourage you t meet with me to discuss a prompt resolution of this matter."
Yes. The lawyer intends to make 'em an offer they can't refuse.
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