San Francisco City Attorney Targets Zynga for...Littering?

Paul Lilly

Zynga just can't help making a mess of things. Updates from games like Mafia Wars and Farmville nearly ruined the Facebook experience until the social networking site cleaned up the application spam. But out in the real world, cleaning up Zynga's mess is proving costly .

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera sent a letter to Zynga last week threatening to hit the company with a lawsuit over a messy guerrilla marketing campaign. Apparently Zynga thought it was a good idea to glue fake $25,000 bills to select sidewalks in five locations in Hayes Valley to promote the latest version of its Mafia Wars game.

According to the city's Department of Public Works (DPW), cleaning up the mess involves bringing in a steam cleaner and is a 45 minute affair, plus administration time.

"We don't have any staff to spare," said DWP spokeswoman Christine Falvey.

The city is demanding that Zynga fork over all its information about the marketing campaign, including "emails, work orders, scope of work, contracts, marketing plans, or other records -- that show when and where the graffiti in San Francisco was placed, and by whom." In addition, the city wants Zynga to come up with a "proposal to fully resolve the issue," one that goes beyond just paying for the cleanup.

Image Credit: San Francisco DPW

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