As part of last year's big 20th anniversary celebrations of the first Sony Playstation the tech giant offered gamers the chance to buy a limited edition grey Playstation 4 with a competition run via Twitter.
Unfortunately, as is the way of such things, it was quickly scammed by the interweb at large, resulting in several complaints by disgruntled gamers to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
Sony had set up a website with a huge image full of classic characters from the console's gaming history and every day tweeted out a clue to which character could then provide a link to the purchase form.
The first 100 people to fill out the form would then be eligible to purchase one of the limited edition PS4 consoles from GAME.
Unfortunately the form was a static link which meant once it was found it could be immediately shared. There were also some people using 'computer programs' to gain early access to the GAME URL.
This wasn't a big problem as far as the ASA was concerned though as GAME had time-stamped the entries and could disqualify the folk who'd used other exploits to get hold of the form before the tweets had been sent out via Sony.
What hasn't gone down so well though is the competition was set up so only one console could be purchased per person and at least five people had managed to pick up more than their fair share.
Which is how we ended up with them appearing on eBay for exorbitant prices...
The ASA delivered its ruling today, supporting the complaints, saying "entrants who had attempted to enter by solving the clue were likely to have been disadvantaged and therefore unnecessarily disappointed."
"Because, for the reasons given, the promotion had caused unnecessary disappointment, we concluded that it had not been administered fairly, and therefore that it had breached the Code."
So, what does that mean for Sony and GAME?
Well, not a whole lot really.
All the ASA has actioned as a result of its findings is to tell Sony and GAME to "ensure that future promotions were administered fairly and avoided causing unnecessary disappointment to participants."
Powerful stuff, right?
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