Considering the sales figures and the drooling anticipation, this was about the only way you’d hear “bomb” and Watch Dogs in the same sentence (unless maybe you’ve got a friend who really likes to call things “the bomb”). A very ill-advised publicity stunt led to a bomb panic at an Australian online publication.
An Ubisoft PR person sent the scary-looking black safe above to a reporter at the Ninemsn offices in Sydney. The safe came with a note advising the reporter to check their voicenmail for a message explaining what it was. Unfortunately, the reported didn’t have a voice mail, so Ninemsn was left with an unexplained scary black safe. There was also a PIN code attached to the safe, but it was the wrong one, so all the reporter got when they entered it was an ominous beep.
So the staff was evacuated and the bomb squad was called. When the safe was opened there was a copy of Watch Dogs and some Watch Dogs swag inside. The only one hurt in the bomb scare was Ubisoft, damaged when its stunt blew up in its face.
Ninemsn editor Hal Crawford told Mumbrella:
“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..
“We did check with other newsrooms to see if they had received a similar package as we thought it was a PR stunt, but no-one else had. We weren’t panicked at any point, but given there was no note explaining what it was, we had to take sensible precautions.”
Ubisoft apologized for the incident with a statement.
“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. We will take additional precautions in the future to ensure this kind of situation doesn’t happen again.”
Image From Mumbrella