Samsung Accused of Paying Developers for Promotion
Back in April, Samsung found itself facing an investigation over questionable marketing techniques. Samsung's marketing department allegedly hired students to post negative comments about the HTC One on a number of tech and gadget websites that linked to favorable benchmark results for the HTC One. At the time, Samsung said that "future marketing work would be more in line with its company philosophy of transparency and honesty." Unfortunately, it seems one company working for Samsung never got the memo about transparency.
Samsung has said its ad agency is to blame for recent reports that it had been offering money to developers to promote the South Korean company. The Verge yesterday reported that developers on the Stack Overflow community had been offered money to promote Samsung's Smart App Challenge. According to the report, viral marketing company Fllu was contacting Stack Overflow community members and offering cash in exchange for mentions of the Samsung Smart App Challenge.
Though Fllu originally denied that Samsung was a client, the Verge was able to verify through email headers that the emails sent to Stack Overflow users came from the same source as its own communications with Fllu. Samsung has said Fllu's actions are "clearly against Samsung Electronics corporate policy," while Fllu now admits that it was working for Samsung. Samsung has reiterated its commitment to "engaging in transparent and honest communications with consumers."