August 18, 2004

Resident Evil viral marketing ploy backfires

A marketing campaign to promote the latest version of the Resident Evil video game has provoked a panic about the spread of a non-existent mobile phone virus, reports The Register.

"Users have received unsolicited SMS text messages on their mobile phones telling them they are infected by the so-called T-Virus, prompting calls to AV company Sophos about the supposed outbreak.

The website allows unsolicited text messages to be sent to mobile phones claiming that the phone is infected, without the permission of the phone's owner. A typical message reads: "Outbreak: I'm infecting you with t-virus, my code is ******. Forward this to 60022 to get your own code and chance to win prizes. More at t-virus.co.uk."

CE Europe, the company behind the marketing campaign, has issued a press release which makes it clear that the whole thing is a promotional stunt.

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