EA's Free Gas Stunt Angers Politician, Police, Local Residents

September 5, 2008 -

A member of Great Britain's Parliament had harsh words for Electronic Arts after a marketing stunt for Mercenaries 2 gridlocked her district during the morning rush hour.

Hoping to draw attention to the game, EA gave away £20,000 of fuel at a station in North London. The Telegraph reports on the ensuing traffic jam:

A petrol station which gave away free fuel has been temporarily shut down after motorists flocking to its pumps caused traffic chaos...

 

Norman Tidiman, from Hackney... said: "I saw a girl who stopped because she wasn't going to make the lights, and the man in the car behind her got out his car and started to bully her.

 


Liberal Democrat MP Lynne Featherstone (left) was not pleased with EA:

Whilst a lucky few might have got some free petrol, hundreds of local residents have faced misery on their daily journeys this morning. They deserve an apology for being the victims of such an ill-thought out media stunt...

 

Trying to recreate Venezuelan-style fuel riots on the streets of London is completely irresponsible and downright dangerous...

An EA rep told the Telegraph that police ultimately shut the event down as too disruptive. Mercs 2, of course, is set in Venezuela, where petroleum is a huge economic force. As in a similar event held in Los Angeles last week, the station was decorated to match the theme of the game.

The BBC has more, including a video report.

Comments

Re: EA's Free Gas Stunt Angers Politician, Police, Local

That's not the point. EA's marketing stunt almost caused a riot in one of the busiest cities in Europe, all for the sake of publicising a video game.

I'm all for marketing, but not like this.

Re: EA's Free Gas Stunt Angers Politician, Police, Local

"Petrol is expensive at the moment and people are having a hard time so we just wanted to do something for them."

By doing something you prebably knew would create chaos, and by the accoutn I read above, nearly got a lady's driver side window smashed in,

So EA's griefing the general public now

Re: EA's Free Gas Stunt Angers Politician, Police, Local

 

This is how ridiculously stupid our society has become; It's an evil thing to give away free petrol.

How DARE those ASSHOLES give away free petrol.

They're just TRASH, KILLING OUR MOTHER EARTH AND SHOULD BE STOPPED!!!

 

 

Re: EA's Free Gas Stunt Angers Politician, Police, Local

Local radio stations here often do the whole free $10 of gas promotion.  I swear, it's about one every couple months.  It always creates a traffic jams to get into the station but police are always on hand to handle issues as they arise (which they haven't) and the trouble areas can be spotted and avoided from blocks away.

Is it EA trying to grief the general population?  Or is it Europe somehow being incapable of handling a common promotion the US gets all the time.  Food for thought.  After all, I haven't heard anything even remotely this bad in the LA promotion.  And this is LA.   Bloods, crips, gangland, street violence, or so my rap albums tell me.  How can THEY handle this yet it's pandemonium in the UK?

Re: EA's Free Gas Stunt Angers Politician, Police, Local

This isn't a common stunt in the UK. I'm British and I've never heard of a petrol station giving away free fuel before, ever. No one would have had a clue how to handle it.

Re: EA's Free Gas Stunt Angers Politician, Police, Local

Ha the local radio station I listen to gives out free fill ups so they win.

 

WOO WPLR!!!!!!!

 
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