Samsung played dirty in IFA conference, Berlin.

Human Being By Human Being , 3rd Sep 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>News>World

This is something I wasn't expecting from Samsung. I respect all the company, but with all the things that is happening. This is a let down.

Samsung played dirty!

First of all I am not an apple fan boy. This article is regarding an incident that happened recently. I appreciate good hardware no matter which company is it from. I admire Samsung's products and even own some of their products. I have used Samsung’s products for quite a long time now. So I had come to like the company a lot. Although I have never been biased to their products over any other products, but I still like their hardware sometimes more than others sometimes.

So what I am writing is about an incident that recently happened in Berlin. Before I go on to the incident let me explain what is Mob!lers. Because this is crucial to what went down in Berlin. So apparently the Samsung Mob!lers is an exclusive network of bloggers who are first in line to trial and review the latest Samsung products, for free. And mark my words it is absolutely free.

Programs like Mob!lers are in place by many companies. It’s actually a very common phenomenon, where some lucky bloggers get a chance to review the products first hand before their release.

So what actually went down in Berlin.

The Story

So what when down in Berlin for that you have to read through the whole story. Samsung launches the Mob!lers program in India. Clinton Jeff the blogger of Unleash the Phones and another blogger who asked to remain unnamed were two of the ones who were chosen as winners of a contest and given Mob!ler perks.

The perk was that the two were invited by Samsung to attend this year’s IFA conference in Berlin, a large trade show that’s important to European and Asian mobile device coverage. Though surprised by the invitation, they took up Samsung on its offer to fly them to the show and to cover their hotel. But, before agreeing to this offer they made abundantly clear to Samsung that they were first and foremost independent bloggers and that they had no intention of acting as brand ambassadors for the company. Even with this restriction in place, the two were invited by Samsung.

An important point – In the invitation email, Jeff reports that he was asked whether he’d like to attend as a reporter or as a promoter. He was insistent that he would only accept the offer if he was allowed to do so as a reporter.

In the days and weeks leading up to the IFA trip there were a couple of things that happened which should have raised flags on things that were about to happen, but the preemptive, no-compromises statement about the two refusing to be brand ambassadors should have kept them covered. One such flag, for instance, was Samsung contacting Jeff and asking for his clothing measurements.

They were instructed that they were to arrive at 8 AM the next day to sign an NDA. While this isn’t an uncommon ask, it’s the kiss of death for a tech reporter who’s hoping to break news about new devices. But what’s more, the 8 AM session was for “orientation”. Samsung told them that, over the course of the event, they’d “have to be in uniform, in the Samsung booths, every day. Showing the products to members of the press.”

Jeff told Samsung again, in no uncertain terms, that they were not there to be product demonstrators for the brand. They reiterated that they had agreed to the trip so that they could cover Samsung, but also the other brands that were launching products. They were shuttled off to a meeting where they once again stated ,this time to a stern-faced PR person, that they had no interest in playing Samsung’s employee for the event. They were told that they had some free time while the company made its decision, so they headed to the local Starbucks to grab a pre-show coffee.

Then things got nasty.

They got a call from Samsung India saying, "You can either be a part of this and wear the uniform, or you’ll have to get your own tickets back home and handle your hotel stay from the moment this call ends.."

A few minutes later, they got a call from the Samsung India guy who said that their flights on the 6th have been cancelled, and that they’re to go back on the 1st instead. But this is only if, and only if, they agreed to wear at least the Samsung branded shirt at the unpacked event, and not blog about any of this incident.

“None of this should leave Berlin. Or Reach India” – Clinton J

They were now trapped and their tickets were essentially being held for ransom. In short, their hands were forced. They attended the event, in the Samsung shirt, but did opt to not stand and demonstrate the phones “while getting dirty looks from some of the other Samsung mob!lers who were present in their white pants, Samsung shoes and the Samsung shirt, all stationed next to a device, presenting it to press. ”

Instead of being in Berlin until September 5th, covering the rest of IFA, they were to be shuttled home as soon as possible. They had only been in country long enough to cover Samsung’s Unpacked event, but missed almost everything else from the show. They didn’t have tickets in hand, and had no assurance that they’d get them. The only confirmation that they had was that their initial return tickets had been cancelled.

A cautionary tale.

There were a few instances in which the bloggers perhaps should have seen too many flags raised and backed out of the event. But when the bloggers had been covering bases and stating their position time and again, Samsung had every opportunity to explain its position and cancel the trip as well. Instead, it opted to play hardball, threatening to leave two bloggers stranded thousands of miles from home, in a foreign country.


Android, Apple, Berlin, Blogger, Conference, Dirty, Galaxy, Germany, Ifa, Mobler, Note, Patent, Phone, Samsung, Suit, Technology

Meet the author

author avatar Human Being
Just a random human being.. Born in this world.. Without his choice.

Share this page

moderator Steve Kinsman moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know


author avatar Shaunak
4th Sep 2012 (#)

Interesting, Another tale of how Big Companies Play Dirty. These kind of incidents should we written about and spread on social networks so that companies dare not think about doing any such thing in the future

Reply to this comment

Add a comment
Can't login?