military coup publicity stunt in Finsbury Park

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Lucretia, Sep 5, 2008.

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  1. Lucretia

    Lucretia Old-Salt Book Reviewer

    A stunt in which free petrol was given away to promote a new computer game has been criticised as "irresponsible and downright dangerous".

    Electronic Arts are giving away £20,000 worth of fuel to promote the game. As part of the stunt, EA took control of a garage in north London and lured customers in with the promise of £40 worth of free fuel.

    The promotion resulted in gridlock with roads in the area clogged as rush-hour traffic was held up by drivers looking to fill up their tanks for free.

    Players of the game Mercenaries 2: World in Flames take on the role of a mercenary in Venezuela following a military coup in which petrol has become currency.

    EA decked out the Last Stop garage which lies between Stroud Green and Finsbury Park, in military camouflage material and parked an army jeep on the forecourt. Assistants dressed as soldiers carried mock machine guns as they doled out petrol to the customers.

    But the stunt caused fury amongst local residents and has angered politicians.

    Liberal Democrat MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, Lynne Featherstone, said: "Trying to recreate Venezuelan-style fuel riots on the streets of London is completely irresponsible and downright dangerous.

    "Whilst a lucky few might have got some free petrol, hundreds of local residents have faced misery on their daily journeys this morning. They deserve an apology for being the victims of such an ill-thought out media stunt."

    The scheme, which started at around 6.30am, caused traffic chaos as the rush-hour developed. Queues of more than 40 cars snaked from the garage as more and more people arrived for their free fuel.

    Motorists who had become snarled up in the congestion, beeped their horns in frustration as they made their way past the queuing traffic at a snail's pace.

    Edited because I forgot to say this came from the Press Association at 12:05