A New Zealand marketing company was reportedly sub-contracted to create some buzz around PC and 360 game Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction* but apparently did their job a little too well. An actor showed up at an Auckland nightspot this weekend brandishing a gun, and patrons dove for cover. Someone shouted "he's got a gun," and drinkers hid behind their tables. Police were called, and issued a warning to the promotional worker once they had determined that the gun was plastic. Thus, what might have been a small-scale story New Zealand turned into international news.
This was not the intention of the marketing company, however...or so they say. Game promoters Monaco Corporation were indirectly responsible for the fake attack. They say they hired another marketing company to organize the promotion and had no idea that a prop gun would be used.
"This was by no means an attempt to get cops down there and get this sort of exposure... We do apologize, we shouldn't have had guns down there," said Duane Mutu, Monaco's marketing manager. "It was just marketing gone wrong."
Luckily, it's an amusing story instead of a tragic one. I could easily see how a masked, black-clad fellow brandishing a fake gun could end in multiple deaths here in the United States. Don't try that kind of thing in a state where guns are allowed to be worn openly; you won't last five minutes!
Source: NZ Herald
*The NZ Herald states that the promo company was hyping "Splinter Cell: Evolution" but I think they got the title wrong.