Monday, 03 September 2012 14:08

Are The Reports About The Samsung Mob!ler India Situation Being Spun?

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Over the weekend a report popped up on “The Next Web” that claimed Samsung attempted to leave a few bloggers stranded in Germany if they did not do as they were told. The story has produced anger and more than a few tweets across the web denouncing Samsung. As with most items we find the timing very interesting as well as the way the article was presented. For starters the original article kicked things off with a very aggressive headline indicating that Samsung is clearly to blame: “Here’s how Samsung flew bloggers halfway around the world, then threatened to leave them there”. Sounds pretty bad doesn’t it?

After that the article continues on this track that Samsung is bad etc. while dropping in comments like “Behavior such as Samsung’s is not uncommon in the world of tech coverage. It’s perhaps considered more normal in some parts of the world,” Despite this the article at the Next Web makes it clear that they feel Samsung is wrong and bad. They provide little information on the actual facts behind the issue, but do post quotes from Samsung that paint them in a very bad light. At the core of the issue is the membership by the two bloggers in a program called Mobl!ers. Put simply this program is meant to be a method to enhance Samsung’s presence in the market.

In the welcome letter it is pretty clear:
As a Samsung Mobiler, we would require your efforts in the following areas in year 2012:

Item number 3 sums things up quite clearly:

3. Provide support to queries on Samsung Mobile India Facebook fan page (Samsung Answers)
While driving sales and promotions is one important aspect of creating a customer, customer satisfaction through the product life cycle the ultimate objective of any Marketer. We get extensive queries on our social media handles on a daily basis regarding technical and hardware issues. However, as the market and sales grow, the customer queries also increase. Samsung Mobilers are expected to participate in customer interaction and help answer queries on social media by becoming our ‘Champions.’

Now you might feel that this has nothing to do with the situation that occurred in Germany, but it does. The last part of that item covers it very well. The two bloggers joined voluntarily knew these items beforehand and then refused to live up to those expectations. We will say that Samsung India made mistakes in that they should have booked a return flight as soon as the pair refused to do what was required of them as members of the Mobl!ers program. They also should not have asked them not to speak about it. Doing that makes it look like they are trying to cover something up.

Overall though considering that many companies send money out to blogs and larger sites we are not sure the ire over this is anything less than an attempt to push out bad press about Samsung. Although The article in The Next Web talks about how rampant this is they do not call out those companies as clearly as they did Samsung. You would think that if this were the case and it is such a terrible happening they would want to list other instances in hopes that this practice would stop. Unfortunately they did not they kept on course to claim that Samsung is an evil company that tried to make honest, independent bloggers into company shills. Strangely enough agreeing to participate in the Mob!lers program does require them to participate in promoting Samsung and their products. The two independent Bloggers knew that going in and still agreed. They can claim they told Samsung India their feelings all they want, but in the end they made the choice to enter the program. It was not forced on them.

The situation should not have happened and there are people in the Samsung India team that need to be let go at the very least, however the coverage of this incident is being spun very badly. We have not found any of the actual emails sent between the two and Samsung India (with the exception of one). Even the apology and public statement is being spun which is very sad. One thing that gets overlooked is that the two were Samsung Mob!lers and Samsung clearly differentiates them in their apology to one of the original Bloggers. They say that they are free to write what they want, but they do not say that the MobIlers are not required to attend the product demos. After reading about the Mobl!ers program and what it requires it seems that the complaints of these two journalists are the equivalent of getting on a bus to New York and then complaining that it does not go to Los Angeles.

Original Article on The Next Web
Quotes from the Mob!lers program welcome email from

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Read 2670 times Last modified on Monday, 03 September 2012 21:35

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