Retailer's risqué rewards cards cop complaints

Gamers face a consistently uphill battle when it comes to being taken seriously by mainstream media and the general public. Just as we try to shirk the stereotype of the acne-riddled teenager lurking in his parents’ basement, we’re lumped with another that sees every single gamer labelled as an inappropriate, immature 20-something. An Australian retailer has decided to rebrand itself, targetting these loutish larrikins, and it looks like it’s gotten itself in trouble in the process.

GAME Australia (related to the international brand) recently introduced the GAME ON reward scheme, which grants customers with 10 points per $1 spent in-store. Once you’ve earned 1,000 points, they are redeemable as a AU$2 discount on in-store purchases. All pretty straight-forward, so far.

The cards themselves were released in four different styles, and it’s two of these that are causing some drama for the retailer. (Hint: It’s not the black one or the purple one.)

GAME On Cards, September 2011

...no comment...

Local site MCV Pacific is reporting that the local advertising watchdog – the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) – has received “multiple complaints” for the, ahem, “cheeky” cards.

Marketing director at GAME Australia, Ben Grant, spoke to MCV about the reasons behind the rewards program.

We decided to relaunch our Reward Card program, with extra benefits, to give us a major point of difference over the competition. It is important for videogames companies to acquire, retain and engage with customers, and our GAME ON Reward Card will certainly do that.

“Engage” is all relative, of course. Grant went on to explain that “People like saving money”, seeming to completely ignore the fact that some of them might not like being confronted with finger genitalia when doing so.

When asked directly about negative reactions to the controversial cards, GAME Australia declined to comment.

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