NYC politico demands Sony pay $20k for PSP ads

Councilman says guerilla publicity campaign encourages graffiti, urges massive donation from the game giant.

When a series of bizarre graffiti pieces incorporating drawings of the PSP began showing up in cities across the country, most gamers immediately smelled a(nother) viral marketing campaign. Those suspicions were confirmed a few weeks ago, when television ads featuring similar art began running. Just before New Year's Eve, Sony admitted to the BBC that it had hired graffiti artists in seven cities to paint the art on legally licensed walls in an effort to target "urban nomads."

However, the fact Sony went by the book isn't good enough for a New York City official. Queens Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. told the New York Post that he wants Sony to take down the ads and pay $20,000 to the city's anti-graffiti program. "Children are impressionable, and if they see a wall with graffiti on it and they don't know that it's done with permission, it could very well lead to them believing that it's OK for them to do it," said Vallone. Sony defended its use of the space, saying it was merely a "different" approach to advertising.

The flap over the PSP ads isn't the first time games and anti-graffiti activists have locked horns. Last August, the organizations Keep America Beautiful and the National Council to Prevent Delinquency lambasted Atari for publishing Marc Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure, claiming the game would spark an increase in graffiti.

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137 comments
blueflamedino
blueflamedino

the viral marketing dept of Sony should take notes from Microsoft and Nintendo, Microsoft is damn good at this type of stuff

killjoy188
killjoy188

An "urban nomad" can only be a homeless person...who most certainly wouldn't buy a PSP. Couldn't they at least come up with a better excuse?

Kholdstare_fire
Kholdstare_fire

Oh man, I back Sony on this one. Their advertising is new and different, but they're getting punished for doing it the right way.

amigo767
amigo767

this was a retarted move. i live in manhattan, and my apartment building had a psp painted on it. no matter how much i like my psp, this pissed me off. trust me, in new york during the debut peroid of the psp, there were ads all over for it.............on the buses and bill boards all over the city. there was no need for the "public art" to advirtise for the so called urban nomads. im not saying this was illegal and they should pay, but it pisses a lot of people in new york off and wasnt neccessary. also, i dont think my aparment walls or the store down the block or the subway station is liscenced to sony

WrestlinDude
WrestlinDude

I dont see how sony can get in trouble. There are no names or even a sony symbol on it the drawings.

MASTERCHIEFUSMA
MASTERCHIEFUSMA

Stupid Politicians, the US is all about freedom but yet its illegal to Express art, these politcians need to but out of Video Game Violence and stuff just like this, make everyones life better and leave the Video game Business to do what they are meant to do, make games.

jasoncarmona
jasoncarmona

dude i have 1 of these tags down on tha corner where i live!!! In ANAHEIM ON THA CORNER OF LA pALMA & SUNKIST RIGHT BE4 WHERE THA 91 & 57 FREEWAY MEET NEXT 2 THA 7/11 STORE! **** TRIPPED ME OUT!

tyba1982
tyba1982

they shouldn't have even put the councilman's name in the article... he's just grandstanding anyways, hoping to ride the coat tails of Hilary and the other jerks

doggiepowers
doggiepowers

all i can really say is.... WHAT?! who cares!!! dude advertisement is advertisement! no one went after the people who sold space on their forehead, clevage, or where ever they felt of their body. so what if i put graffiti on my forehead is that against the rules? i said they could!

THedevilcryPS3
THedevilcryPS3

If ppl really want to do garfitti than a psp on a wall wont make a difference

hitman2066
hitman2066

nintendomaster STFU, you must be a hobo. if your not then why r u speaking for them? i think sony should keep at it with their campains with graffiti, it was all done legit. they purchased the wall they done what they had rights to do, hold up ......wait!!!!.... you know what why dont we just throw our bill of rights and constituition away? now days people are drifting more and more away from what our founding fathers wanted for us all FREEDOM OF PRESS, FREEDOM OF SPEECH, FREEDOM TO DO AS WE PLEASE AND MOST OF ALL, FREEEEEDDDDDOOOOOMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!!

Nintendomaster
Nintendomaster

PSP sucks anyways this isn't going to appeal to "Uban Nomads" but afew hobo's are gonna be pissed

kowboy702
kowboy702

i am not from new york, or seen the graffiti ads. but now i want a psp more than ever. i think the ad is serving its purpose now.............lets seeeee.....draw on buildings or get a psp, which should i doooo. hec i'll do both. the white color politian guys are so dumb. kidz are dying from hunger, cant go to school, freeze to death....but atleast everyone can sleep well knowing they wont be doing graffiti anytime soon, the government has taking care of that part..

RufflesX980
RufflesX980

I see nothing wrong with it, its sony's wall, sony can do what ever it wants to that wall

ryanm75
ryanm75

Let's see: $20k for the campaign, $10k for the cleanup, and to be conservative $250k in fines = $280k total cost. Less than the cost of one 30 second advertisement on prime time television. Sounds like Sony has purchased the cheapest national advertising campaign ever. The more the NY politicians fight & keep it in the news, the more successful Sony's campaign is. The pub is much more valuable than the fine will ever be. Notice how mad most of these posts are at the *politicans.* Sony was really in need of consumers to rally behind them for once, too. I wonder if that was part of the master plan, or just dumb luck.

nrb1990
nrb1990

This kind of "publicity" is a realy a stupid thing from part of sony ,but 20k thats realy stupid.

kimbokasteniv
kimbokasteniv

Weird, 2 years ago or so, Sony made a massive graffiti like advertisement for gt4, in the Bronx, and no one complained.

MoldOnHold
MoldOnHold

*sigh* just another way the government is interfering with the gaming world. i bet pretty soon they'll make up a game called "Councilman Vallone : Protecting Kids From Evil Advertisement Ads...and Making a Healthy Profit Out of it Too". pathetic

The_Kills
The_Kills

WOW what a bunch of losers, only 20k? LOL and plus that is legally licenced property so they can do what ever they please, i would love to see these adds continue just to make NYC stupid, what a bunch of desperate bums trying to cash in on anything they can, KEEP AT IT SONY DONT EVEN SPARE THEM A PENNY.

24240
24240

That is just stupid. Good luck Sony.

GhostlyMagician
GhostlyMagician

If America and New York City are going to cry about some advertisment then well, their road to evolution has stopped. You guys cried about advertisements on the baseball field. Have you guys looked at the hockey rings? Guess not. Everybody is looking for reasons for sueing and easy money. Anti-Graffiti program, oh boo hoo. Theres schools that tell you to be creative then when you are your slammed by the book again to tell you that you can't be creative. Sony being dump for advertising a reliable product? LOL yes yes continue your biasness and your stupidity. So much stupidity everywhere.

Shingko
Shingko

wtf?!?!?! that NY guy nust have put way to much thought into that whole grafitti thing, and yes Sony is dumb by putting the same art style in there grafitti and in there commercials......Hellz Ya!

miiiguel
miiiguel

20K US$..., so much noise for the price of a small car. Sony must be loving this "aditional" plubicity all over the place. Talk about smart and inexpensive adverts...

phoenixp3k
phoenixp3k

It's just crazy, Sony did it legally they should focus on the problem instead of suing companies. I guess they need money to fight against graffiti and it's probably the cheapest shot I saw them take at someone. If it's the way they think they should kill all legally licensed walls. This way they'll only have illegal walls to turn to. Great idea, sure...

stevie_da_man
stevie_da_man

Some things will never change. Politicians out to earn votes, adults underestimating the ingenuity of children. These idiots should broaden there minds and realize that graffiti is enough of an art form that a multi-billion dollar, multinational corporation paid to utilize it. Btw, why doesn't he try explaining the legality behind Sony's methods in order to teach kids something new and interesting rather than censor a legitimate (albeit viral) marketing ploy.

BadBalance29
BadBalance29

I hate when politicians use "think of the children" line. I see graffiti everyday when I take a train to my HS in Manhattan. Most are them were made by some teenage retard and contain words like !@#$% and @#$%!@#$. You know what I mean. And guess what... They were there long before the psp graffiti ads. If people of my generation are that impressionable, hence dumb, and are gonna do everything they see....... then I am REALLY sorry for them............So if the government wants to cure our mental illness, they'll have to do better than just putting restrictions on LEGAL graffiti. Like...... I don't know.......Maybe they could improve the education a little bit........Doesn't that sound like a good idea?

godofgames20
godofgames20

jsut dumb if u ask me. im a child and i no not to go paint on a wall. when ppl paint on walls they know that it is wrong that why they do it!!! to b bad!!!! i would bet that they wouldnt do it if it wernt so bad. dont blame sony for ur kids problems

Hrainian
Hrainian

Well, children must be impressionable to MORONIC POLITITiONS! Let's fine them for some money!

patxito
patxito

Peter Vallone Jr. : "Children are impressionable, and if they see someone driving and they don't know that it's done with a driving license, it could very well lead to them believing that it's OK for them to do it, so we are going to demand every driver in the city. "

dadeisvenm
dadeisvenm

As long as its controled and autherized I have no problem with it. If you ride the elevated trains here in NYC you see it everywhere (especially the #7 line to Shea stadium). In new york city graffiti is a culture and art form that give the city flavor.

casan02
casan02

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

casan02
casan02

I have to agree with KIELW93 and n2Deepth there, but isn't that just violating the First Amendment at all? The freedom of speech? Dang, when is this going to end? First Jack Thompson attacks The Sims 2 and GTA, then Hilary Clinton wants to strict the M-rated sales of games, and now this? If you ask me, I think this is going to end up being a mess pretty soon. Politicians should worry about other things then just video games, and I beleive they should not poke their noses where it does not belong.

KIELW93
KIELW93

so, let me get this straight, sony did this totally legally, but a new york city politician thinks all kids are stupid so he wants sony to pay $20k? I hope sony puts up more of the graffiti ads, just to spit in the guy's face

n2Deepeth
n2Deepeth

Ok, so Sony performs actions that are totally lega, but a New York City Councilman wants Sony to pay because kids are ignorant? Isn't it the responsibility of the city to stop kids from being so stupid? This is a clear case of passing the buck.

LinkinSnake
LinkinSnake

if it's generated this much publicity then sony got what they wanted... damn they're smart

Cunder
Cunder

Why clean up something the is legally right? Just because it shows bad impression toward kids. Well what polotics forget to know is that it's the parents that don't keep there kids in check. Which is why they join stupid gangs and graffti there gang tags around the city. IF by anychance Sony owns those lots or walls then they have every bit of right to do what they please as long it's taste full and doesn't support violences.

RPiazza72
RPiazza72

Pay 20K to clean what up? Nothings has happened yet? Should we punish people for what we think others might do? The world is a complex place Kids are always are faced with examples of contradiction in our society the process it's called growing up. I don't care for the ads but come on. This is another extension of the video games, music and such cause people to do things.

qqppzzmm
qqppzzmm

i noww go out toooo draws on walls

chemeleon_789
chemeleon_789

[quote]If kids are that impressionable, then they shouldn't be watching TV.[/quote] Here here. I don't know what TV's like in the U.S., but here in the UK there are literally hundreds of programmes that romantisise violence and single-mindedness, even with our current push for 'political correctness'. By politicians standards, those have more of a negative influence than encouraging people to draw on walls, so why bother with such trivial matters *unless* it's about making money and getting votes? There's no doubt there would have been much more of an uproar if it was painted over a billboard advertising coca-cola or something. Although I'd like that.. but it says something about our idea of right and wrong, lol. Personally I'd rather live in a world with pictures painted on walls, even if they are stylishly advertising a product, than a world full of hollow grey concrete rectangles (hey, windows 95). At least there'd be some human element to it.

SavoyPrime
SavoyPrime

$20,000 is nothing for Sony. They should pay it and be done with it.

Viquist
Viquist

I Just went to the sight that snake670670670 gave us and told him what I think... no reply yet but I'll try to let people know what is said as soon as I hear back from them.

doughnutboy
doughnutboy

"Children are impressionable, and if they see a wall with graffiti on it and they don't know that it's done with permission, it could very well lead to them believing that it's OK for them to do it," It's called "parenting." Look into it.

Viquist
Viquist

Even though I don't like the PSP, Leave Sony Alone!!! - It was legal, is legal and the law isn't going to change if you took Sony to court over this so get over it and move on.

elheber
elheber

Sony advertised by legal means. Any form of the local government trying to make them pay is just another form of censorship. Bullcrap.