Last Friday we ran a piece highlighting what we considered to be the most impressive PR blunders of 2012. At the close of the article we also put out the call to you, the beautiful general public, to decide what the official Reader’s PR Gaffe of the Year 2012 would be.
The poll is closed. The results are in. So let’s go and have a look at them shall we?
We received a few interesting votes in the “other” category. A couple of people voted for Paul Christoforo, a former PR representative of Ocean Marketing, who rose to infamy for his spectacular abuse of a series of people guilty of nothing more than trying to buy an Avenger controller accessory. It’s a great suggestion and was definitely a magnificent PR meltdown, but the bulk of it happened in December 2011. Sorry.
A few others opted for the ‘DoritosGate’ debacle, which cost Rab Florence his job as a Eurogamer columnist and, ultimately, cost Lauren Wainwright her position at MCV. Again, a fine suggestion. Plenty of publications and individuals came out of that one with severely tarnished reputations, so it’s eligible for inclusion. Alas, it didn’t secure enough votes to take the prize.
Just one lone voice felt that “Sega’s YouTube Rampage,” in which someone at SEGA lost their mind and starting flagging every YouTube ‘Let’s Play’ of the Shining Force series for copyright infringement, should take the main award. That’s actually a great suggestion, and deserved more votes.
Of our four main incidents, nobody seemed to care all that much about Hitman’s objectionable Facebook app or Gearbox’s John Hemingway playing fast and loose with the term “girlfriend mode.” They garnered 5% and 1% of the vote respectively.
Indeed, there was no doubt about the two main contenders fighting it out for the number one spot. Powered by the ravings of Sergey Titov, The War Z gave everything in an effort to nab the prize; from lying to customers, to incredible non-apologies for lying to customers. That entry ended on a huge 45% of the vote.
But it was all in vain, because the winner of the IncGamers Reader Poll for Biggest PR Gaffe of 2012 goes to: Diablo 3’s Jay Wilson.
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Wilson’s petulant Facebook response to an interview in which former Blizzard North co-founder David Brevik gave his views on Diablo 3 swept up 47% of the vote and walked away with the grand prize. Congratulations to Jay (and the other Blizzard employees who joined in) for managing to handle the entire situation without class, dignity or style.
Thanks to everyone who voted. There’s little doubt that 2013 will bring even more videogame PR blunders for us to enjoy.