Games firm under fire over military-style mail

The Advertising Standards Authority has received a complaint about computer game manufacturer Eidos, after it sent out thousands of mailshots tailored to look like military call-up papers at the time of Nato’s intervention in the Kosovo crisis.

Eidos, which makes the best-selling Tomb Raider series of adventure games, featuring heroine Lara Croft, was promoting its game Commando with the direct mail campaign.

Official-looking envelopes containing mock military call-up papers headed “The Ministry of War, Whitehall, London N1” and dated “April 1940” were sent to consumers who had already bought a Commando product. John Davis, Eidos marketing director, says: “This was not something we did intentionally. It was unfortunate timing. It went out a couple of days before the country’s involvement in Kosovo.”

He says recipients of the mailing would not have been fooled by its appearance because it carried branding and advertising for the Commando game.

A spokesman for the ASA said the complaint would not be investigated as the timing of the mailing had been unintentional, and the campaign had been discontinued.

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