THIS WEEK: Prison battles to block Sega’s hard-cell tactic

A prison was last night fighting to get a new radio campaign by Sega pulled off the air, claiming it had been conned by the computer-games company into letting an inmate do a voiceover for the ad.

A prison was last night fighting to get a new radio campaign by Sega

pulled off the air, claiming it had been conned by the computer-games

company into letting an inmate do a voiceover for the ad.



HM Prison Latchmere House in Richmond, Surrey, claims that the interview

was gained under false pretences.



The ad was due to be aired last night on Kiss FM. It features an

interview with an inmate, in which he says he would have ‘no compunction

whatsoever’ about hurting a stranger who got in his way on a ‘job’.



The interview was organised by Sega’s ad agency McCann-Erickson and

recorded by McCann’s production company Eardrum.



As Marketing went to press, Ted Butt, the governor of Latchmere House,

was fighting to get the ad pulled. He had authorised the interview, but

said he was not told the interview was for an ad. An investigation has

been launched.



Sega, McCann and Eardrum denied deceiving the jail. A receipt for pounds

200 issued to the inmate describes it as ‘payment for pounds 200 for the

advertisement Sega - Virtua Cop, in which I appear as voice-over’.



Mark Dibsdall, Sega’s account director at McCann’s claims: ‘At no point

was anyone misled.’



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