The Top 7... PR disasters

We chronicle the embarrassments that the industry would rather you forgot

In the videogame industry, few jobs outside of the actual production of games are as vital as those of public-relations personnel. Standing between the public and busy developers, it's their job to make sure that information trickles out to the press and that a game's intended audience is good and hyped for it by the time it hits stores. But things don't always go as planned, and whether it's the fault of bad marketing, overzealous developers or just piss-poor self-representation, things sometimes spiral out of their control.

And then, there are the true disasters - events so epic in their scope that "out of control" doesn't nearly cut it. In the interest of reopening old wounds and getting some of our PR friends to openly glare at us in public, we've compiled a list of the seven most spectacular PR horrors of the last several years. Because, you know, nothing entertains quite like schadenfreude.

7. Alliwantforxmasisapsp.com
Now this was just embarrassing. Launched in late 2006, thishorribly clueless attempt at a stealth-marketing campaign was intended to look like a fan-made blog, but something was amiss. Reading the site felt like watching one of those commercials where everyone tries to talk "hip" and "street" while still using the entire brand name of whatever product they're advertising. As in, "Yo dogg! Ya heard? Conglomex-brand Corn Snax be tha bomb-diggety, yo! Y'all can just taste the bio-enhanced Cruntulum-60™ flavor colonies in every crunchy bite. Word... izzle." And then we see that the line is being delivered by a white suburban mom. To her actual dog. Without a trace of irony.

Not only did the "edgy" writing come off lame and forced, but the downloadable stuff the site offered - fake ads to slip into magazines, sneering greeting cards meant to convince your relatives to give your ingrate ass a PSP for Christmas, iron-ons modeled by obvious professionals - was just a little too slick and brand-conscious to have been made by a couple of fanboys with a copy of Photoshop. And then there was this asshole:

ilovebees.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

After graduating from college in 2000 with a BA in journalism, I worked for five years as a copy editor, page designer and videogame-review columnist at a couple of mid-sized newspapers you've never heard of. My column eventually got me a freelancing gig with GMR magazine, which folded a few months later. I was hired on full-time by GamesRadar in late 2005, and have since been paid actual money to write silly articles about lovable blobs.

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