Turkish gaming giant pulls ad over plagiarism complaints
The controversial video, which was aired on 41 Turkish television channels simultaneously around 9:30 p.m. on Feb. 18, was starting as though a usual advertisement for an insurance company with a man who is seen driving a car in Istanbul.
The segment was soon interrupted abruptly with what seemed like a hacked computer screen on which Peak Games’ actual message was typed like a code. The message was saying that Peak Games is looking to hire new employees.
Initial positive messages about the three-minute ad on social media soon turned sour as several people pointed out that the video was eerily similar to another ad aired by Audi in Sweden in 2011, dubbed the “Safety Code.”
“They even stole its music!” a Twitter user said.
As reactions poured in, Peak Games announced on Twitter on Feb. 19 that it pulled the ad and severed its relations with Medina Turgul DDB, the advertising agency that produced the video.
“We have learned with everyone else that our ad was not original. It is impossible to describe our pain and sorrow. It is important for us to have originality in creative works so we halt all our ads,” the statement said, adding that the gaming company would take legal action against Medina Turgul DDB both in Turkey and the U.S.
The Istanbul-based Peak Games has been growing rapidly since it sold its mobile card game studio to the California-based game developer Zynga for $100 million in 2017.
The Turkish gaming giant had produced some of the most popular mobile games in the world, like Toy Blast, Spades Plus and Gin Rummy Plus, as well as hugely popular local Turkish games including 101 Okey Plus and Okey Plus.
Medina Turgul has been one of the leading communication groups in Turkey since it was founded in 1993 by two figureheads of local industry, Jeffi Medina and Yavuz Turgul. It was chosen as a partner by the worldwide DDB network in only its second year of operation.