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PR Stunt Ends in Bomb Squad Being Called
By: Jessica Cherok
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What was supposed to be a witty publicity stunt turned into a serious situation — and building evacuation — last week. A mysterious beeping package arrived at an Australian news site’s office, setting off a panic.

Ubisoft has been promoting its hacker-themed game, Watch Dogs. As part of the promotion, they sent a copy of the game to the office of Ninemsn, a Sydney-based news site. The game arrived inside a safe that would beep when staff tried to open it.

Ninemsn staff called police, who arrived to scan the package. After evacuating the office, authorities took the safe to the building’s basement and attempted to open it. Once opened, the bomb squad discovered the game.

Ubisoft released the following statement:

"As part of a themed promotion for 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. Unfortunately, the delivery to Ninemsn didn't go as planned, and we unreservedly apologise to Ninemsn's staff for the mistake and for any problems caused as a result.”

Perhaps the staff at Ninemsn didn’t check their messages. Either way — clearly the people at Ubisoft didn’t think this all the way through.

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About the Author
Jessica Cherok is an advocate for online privacy, campaigning for ethical data practices and the protection of personal privacy.
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