City Attorney battles with Mafia Wars maker 

Anyone who has spent a few hours on Facebook knows how ubiquitous social-networking games such as Mafia Wars and Farmville are. But apparently the San Francisco-based company that designed those games, Zynga, felt they needed to make their mark in the real world as well.

Their “guerilla marketing” technique for Mafia Wars came in the form of $25,000 bills pasted all over the sidewalks of Hayes Street. When Department of Public Works Chief of Operations Mohammed Nuru found out that each bill took 45 minutes to clean from the sidewalk he was less than thrilled.

This type of marketing is hardly original, and it's also illegal, so now the City Attorney is getting involved to recoup the damages.

It’s not the first time either. The City has gone after “similar guerilla marketing campaigns sufficient to compensate the City for all costs, punish the wrongdoing, and publicly discourage similar illicit conduct by other would-be corporate vandals,” wrote Deputy City Attorney Alex Tse in a letter to Zynga’s chief council.

We’ll keep you updated on the progress of the complaint, and in the meantime, Zynga has another marketing trick, getting Snoop Dog to blow up a truck in the Nevada desert.


-Brent Begin

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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