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
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.’