December 10, 2012
Japanese video-game maker Square Enix tried to advertise its game Hitman: Absolution by allowing you to pretend to put a hit on your Facebook friends for a variety of appalling reasons. The application, created by advertising agency Ralph, was pulled after just one article by online gamer mag Rock Paper Shotgun. The app let you select identifying features of your friends as reasons to threaten them on Facebook—among them, her awful makeup, ginger hair, annoying laugh, strange odor, big ears, muffin top, hairy legs and "small tits." You could then select reasons to kill her—for example, "She's cheating on her partner!"—resulting in a lovely Facebook post sent directly to that friend that said "I hope you get killed by a hitman!" and linked to a nice video of the main character from the game shooting the crap out of that friend's profile picture. The concept itself could possibly have been done in a fun, less bullying way, but the execution shows how impressively sexist you can be with nothing more than a drop-down box. To be fair, you could also be sexist against dudes and put a hit out on your male friends for having a small penis. The link to the application no longer works, and the company issued an apology in less than a day. Quick work, PR department! Now, somebody fire the copywriter.
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