Microsoft has issued an apology after sending an email advertisement that received complaints regarding its “racist” subject line. It appears to be a case of poorly though out advertising copy. The company issued the advertisement for Dead Rising 4, which will be released at the beginning of December. Every individual who signed up for the newsletter received the email, which was a lot of people.
The bulk of the email was relatively controversy-free. It involves an image of Frank West with two zombies and the caption reads: “All We Want for the Holidays.” It was meant to mimic a DR4-themed Christmas card, owing to the game being set during the festive period.
However, this is not what alarmed recipients of the email. It was the subject line of the email itself which read: “NNNNGGGHHHAAA.” Some interpreted this as an offensive racial slur. Can’t say we blame them.
Major Nelson (real name Larry Hryb) who is in charge of marketing through Xbox Live has since apologized for the email and says the company will
“do better next time.”
Here’s a screenshot of the email in question:
The controversy comes hot on the heels of another marketing blunder by a big company. Recently, EA were under fire for producing “insensitive” social media marketing materials for their FPS Battlefield 1.
In the Tweets, the company used a hashtag #JustWW1Things to promote the game and treated images of the war with less tact than expected. They too apologized for the incident.