If you're trying to sell cars, perhaps it's best to not alienate or scare the daylights out of potential customers. Toyota has tried a few new approaches lately, and agency Saatchi & Saatchi may have thought it out-clevered itself with a faux-stalker effort for the Matrix, but it's landed both the agency and the automaker in legal hot water.

Amber Duick, a California woman who was seriously freaked out by a fake stalker named Sebastian Bowler -- no, we're not sure how it was intended to tie in to the Matrix, either -- has asked Toyota for $10 Million in exchange for the hornswoggling she received. Emails from the nonexistent Mr. Bowler so intimidated Ms. Duick that her work suffered and she made her boyfriend sleep with weapons nearby, just in case.

The whole punking came about by her opting in, Toyota's lawyers say -- as in, she asked for it. Sure, says Duick's own attorney, if you count an undecipherable and dubious online personality test forwarded by a friend as an actual opt-in agreement, instead of just a legal fig-leaf. The legal flap is going to take some time for both parties to work out or ride through the court system, but you paranoids out there can rest easy; Saatchi wrapped up this campaign last year, so it's on to some other internet silliness to push the Matrix now. Thanks for the tip, Martin!

[Source: ABC News]

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