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Copyright 2001

[ November 14th 2001 ]

London based computer games publishers Eidos PLC has been reprimanded for broadcasting bogus mobile phone text (SMS) messages telling people to register at army recruitment centres as part of a co-ordinated publicity campaign for the best-selling World War II videogame Commandos II.

The message read, "Please report to your local army recruitment centre immediately for your 2nd tour of duty. Commandos 2 on PC. It's more than real life - out today from Eidos." The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld a complaint from a former British Army officer saying the message could distress recipients still haunted by the tragic events of September 11.

Eidos Interactive has apologised for the oversight and is introducing a stringent set of guidelines because of the incident. In a statement, the company said, "The SMS message was designed as a Second World War call-out to new recruits advertising the availability of the Commandos 2 computer game."

"Unfortunately the text message was written many weeks before the horrific events of 11 September. It was an oversight on our part that it was then issued. However, we are implementing new guidelines internally and externally to prevent this situation happening again. We would like to apologise for the distress that this has caused."

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