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Samsung Accused of Paying Developers for Promotion

By - Source: The Verge | B 23 comments

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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."

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  • 11 Hide
    stevejnb , August 3, 2013 12:23 PM
    Quote:
    I really dislike Samsung, and this makes me dislike them even more! Just blatantly dishonest and dishonourable.


    You know, while I'm not personally a big fan of Samsung, I have to ask... What major tech companies DO you like for being honest and honourable? Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, Sony, Nintendo, HP, and any other major one you can name - a google search and five minutes time will uncover stuff worse stuff than this.

    So, curious - what companies DO you think are honest and honourable?

    PS - Samsung's phones and tablets are overpriced and overrated. Good enough products, but they've taken a page out of Apple's book and think their name is worth something when they are slapping prices on their products which, in my experience, trade battery life for a few ounces of weight and being a bit thinner while loading basic Android with garbage that slows the OS down. I am not a Samsung fan, but "dishonest and honourable"? Please..
Other Comments
  • 11 Hide
    stevejnb , August 3, 2013 12:23 PM
    Quote:
    I really dislike Samsung, and this makes me dislike them even more! Just blatantly dishonest and dishonourable.


    You know, while I'm not personally a big fan of Samsung, I have to ask... What major tech companies DO you like for being honest and honourable? Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, Sony, Nintendo, HP, and any other major one you can name - a google search and five minutes time will uncover stuff worse stuff than this.

    So, curious - what companies DO you think are honest and honourable?

    PS - Samsung's phones and tablets are overpriced and overrated. Good enough products, but they've taken a page out of Apple's book and think their name is worth something when they are slapping prices on their products which, in my experience, trade battery life for a few ounces of weight and being a bit thinner while loading basic Android with garbage that slows the OS down. I am not a Samsung fan, but "dishonest and honourable"? Please..
  • -6 Hide
    Christiaan Lourens , August 3, 2013 12:46 PM
    I am probably the only person who doesn't really dislike any tech company unless their support staff are not helpful or friendly. That said I even like EA :p 
  • 1 Hide
    sykozis , August 3, 2013 1:10 PM
    I dislike companies who's marketing departments are dishonest or have useless tech support staff. There are some companies that will market a product knowing full well that they are lying to consumers while counting the dollars they're collecting as a result of their lies. I won't name any of those companies as I'm sure we all know who they are. I do encourage friends and family to avoid their products where possible and ensure they know the facts in instances where the products simply can't be avoided.
  • 0 Hide
    hitman40 , August 3, 2013 2:04 PM
    "Samsung's marketing department" first sentence of this article. That means this move mentioned in this article doesn't represent Samsung as a company. So why the fuss about Samsung being dishonest? Every company does something one way over another, it's a competition.
  • 1 Hide
    chibiwings , August 3, 2013 2:28 PM
    I think what i saw on a forum the other day i,it is still related on this i think.., Where a benchmarking software favors Samsung product and produces better results if their hardware is detected. And there is a proof. where the name of Samsung phone is hard coded on the benchmarking software.
  • 0 Hide
    stanley780 , August 3, 2013 3:28 PM
    Well at least they make great products. I own the s4 and a pro series ssd. I haven't had any issues with both and very happy with them. While this is dishonest it doesn't really affect me since they still produce fantastic products.
  • 0 Hide
    NightLight , August 3, 2013 4:34 PM
    i bet a buck and a half the latest rumours are started by the fruits.
  • 0 Hide
    stanley780 , August 3, 2013 4:51 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Well at least they make great products. I own the s4 and a pro series ssd. I haven't had any issues with both and very happy with them. While this is dishonest it doesn't really affect me since they still produce fantastic products.


    The S4 is a great product? Only half the stated RAM is usable and the benchmarks were inflated....great product. Samsung is proving it can't beat the competition without cheating.


    I'm sorry i haven't encountered any apps on the phone that need 1gb of ram, maybe when that happens I will root it and free up 1/2 a gb by getting rid of touchwiz. And who buys a phone based solely on benchmarks?
  • -1 Hide
    BranFlake5 , August 3, 2013 6:08 PM
    We're probably going to see more Samsung rumors, It became a hot topic and the focus is on them. We shouldn't shut them out, we should wait for their response and if these are in fact true, shame on not only Samsung, but all companies with similar practices.
  • 0 Hide
    mcaalrington , August 3, 2013 6:11 PM
    Samsung hasn't been a problem with me personally, unlike HTC, for example. Regardless of the quality of product, if a company mistreats a consumer of their product(s) at least once, they are no longer part of any of my household. I think every company that is large enough eventually succumbs to the dirt throwing at their competitors, it only makes sense that children never really grow up and will always retaliate in one way or another amidst competition. It comes down to morals, values, ethics, beliefs, aspects, specs, and any other important trigger that either keeps a company in any relative person's preference or reject side.
  • 3 Hide
    JPNpower , August 3, 2013 6:11 PM
    This is why I consider all marketing and stuff half hogwash.

    There is a reason why microcenter, and other physical tech stores will never die, and that is to make sure that the holy new product is really holy, etc.

    I never really liked Samsung for various reasons, but this doesn't affect my opinion of them at all. All companies are ugly like this IMO. Sad but true.
  • 0 Hide
    rwinches , August 3, 2013 9:48 PM
    Reviews all over the internet a peppered with tainted content.
    They are easy to spot; high on complaint low on specifics.
    Plenty of absurd claims like no hard drive, support number disconnected, failed in 2 months and still under warranty, but I threw it in the trash. This is my third unit because they all fail in a few days. Something about this design that makes my carpal-tunnel syndrome flare up.
    They never respond to questions about why they didn't contact Amazon directly instead of calling some overseas number.
    Even legit complaints, where they don't have USB 3.0 port and complain about low speed and give low marks.
    Or complain that this $200 unit isn't as good as the $600 unit it replaced. Or I knocked this external HD off the table and it stopped working, what a poor design.
    Or I bought a laptop for the first time and I do a lot of typing for my job and I must say how disappointed I am with the keyboard, I tried several friends laptops before I ordered this one and they all were terrible too, oh well I bought this on sale so with the cost of sending it back I guess I'm stuck with it.
  • 0 Hide
    ahmedomran , August 3, 2013 10:02 PM
    But the question is, does SAMSUNG really need to pay developers for promotion? I don't think so! This article is a bullshit.
  • 0 Hide
    therealduckofdeath , August 3, 2013 11:10 PM
    I honestly don't see the problem here? Is it now bad to promote a product? Did Martin Scorsese promote the iPhone for free? I know The Verge always try to twist anything negatively concerning Samsung. Shouldn't that be news instead? Opinion builders who repeatedly uses half truths to smear companies that they for some reason dislike? Are they perhaps paid by Apple? One wonders....
  • 0 Hide
    guru_urug , August 4, 2013 12:11 AM
    So they are promoting their app development competition on a developer site? How dare they!! *sarcasm*
    I don't see why this qualifies as a grave crime to make it news? Would it be any different if the people on that site were to see ads for it? They are devs they of all people are smart enough to know better than to be influenced by promotion unless they think its worth it. I'm sure the verge has better things to do than go out of their way to investigate such trivial issues.
    I'm not saying Samsung is clean. They have dirt on them too...their recent controversy to manipulate benchmarks was wrong. But this just seems like a desperate attempt. In the end u can promote all you want any well informed and sensible consumer will buy the product he wants.
  • -1 Hide
    260511 , August 4, 2013 1:40 AM
    Samsung being a Korean company alone is enough reason for me to never buy their product
  • 0 Hide
    charlton81 , August 4, 2013 5:50 AM
    "Not the point at all. Fact is the S4 is advertised as having 16GB of RAM. Obviously not all of that is usable. I had BlackBerries for years and I had about 90% of the stated RAM free for us. I now have an iP5 and I had 14GB free on a 16GB phone fresh out of the box. 8 usable gigabytes out of 16 is criminal. ALL cell phone manufactures should CLEARLY state in their adverting and on the box how much is usable after first powering up the device. Also, the fact Samsung inflated it's benchmarks proves it doesn't have what it takes to compete."

    Unfortunately, this has become the standard practice. I also hear windows phones are worst and take up even more space. PCs don't state how much space is left on drive or RAM after the OS is installed, why should phones. I guess it up to the consumer to be savvy,just like when buying a PC. After all, phones now are like PCs.
  • 1 Hide
    house70 , August 4, 2013 12:25 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Well at least they make great products. I own the s4 and a pro series ssd. I haven't had any issues with both and very happy with them. While this is dishonest it doesn't really affect me since they still produce fantastic products.


    The S4 is a great product? Only half the stated RAM is usable and the benchmarks were inflated....great product. Samsung is proving it can't beat the competition without cheating.

    16 GB of RAM?! What are you even talking about?
    The phone has 2 GB of RAM and all of it is available to apps.
    Can you even try an intelligent trolling post once in a while?
    I'm sorry i haven't encountered any apps on the phone that need 1gb of ram, maybe when that happens I will root it and free up 1/2 a gb by getting rid of touchwiz. And who buys a phone based solely on benchmarks?


    Not the point at all. Fact is the S4 is advertised as having 16GB of RAM. Obviously not all of that is usable. I had BlackBerries for years and I had about 90% of the stated RAM free for us. I now have an iP5 and I had 14GB free on a 16GB phone fresh out of the box. 8 usable gigabytes out of 16 is criminal. ALL cell phone manufactures should CLEARLY state in their adverting and on the box how much is usable after first powering up the device. Also, the fact Samsung inflated it's benchmarks proves it doesn't have what it takes to compete.


    What are you even talking about?! 16 GB of RAM?
    The phone has 2 GB of RAM and all of that is available for apps.
    Can't you troll intelligently once in a while?
  • 1 Hide
    jkflipflop98 , August 4, 2013 2:54 PM
    Wait, isn't all advertising just paying someone to talk good about you or badly about the competition?

    Why does it matter if you pay a bunch of college kids to do it as opposed to paying a big promotional firm to lie and mudsling on your behalf? What a bunch of hypocrites.
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