GAME, the UK video game retailer, is facing backlash for a now-deleted Twitter ad it released for Valentine's Day. The ad, which was made to advertise the store's range of mobile phones and phone upgrades, has been accused of poking fun at domestic violence.
Although the ad has been taken down, a screenshot of the ad has been captured and posted below. The ad has GAME saying "Love your phone as much as you love your console? Show it you care and upgrade here." Along with the text is a picture of several mobile phones, most of them broken. The newest one has a hand gently shushing it as the text says "Shhhhh baby I ain't gonna treat you like the others." While it's likely meant to poke at how we treat frequently-upgraded technology such as phones, it's easy to see the comparison to domestic violence that commenters are levying against the ad.
It's not unheard of for companies to make major PR mistakes in the past. Injustice 2 Mobile celebrated Pride Month last year with a challenge that focused on fighting Poison Ivy, who happens to be bisexual. Meanwhile, John Gibson, CEO of Tripwire, sparked a major controversy that led to his resignation when he threw his support behind a highly-controversial abortion law in Texas.
GAME has done its own fair share of odd marketing in the past. Back during Christmas 2014, it made an advergame called Christmas Shopping Simulator where players explore a mall and collect gifts for their friends and family. It wound up getting a sequel the next year. As for more recent activities, GAME started selling shirts based on GameStop's wild ride in the stock market last year.
We've reached out to GAME and their parent company Frasers Group for comment and will update if we hear anything back.