GLOBAL – Indian bloggers who participated in the Samsung Mob!ler (Mobiler) program were threatened by Samsung to be stranded in Berlin if they did not promote the product of the company at the IFA event.
Programs like Samsung Mob!ler are in place to provide an opportunity to bloggers to get their hands-on the devices before everyone else, and then to act as ambassadors for them. In addition, some bloggers are also invited to cover such events so that the word about the new products could be spread around, and yet they are also allowed to report about other companies’ commodities too. The cost of the journey including hotel and flight is sponsored by the host company, in this case, Samsung.
The bloggers, Clinton Jeff from Unleash the Phones and an anonymous one, were asked beforehand if they would attend the event as a reporter or a promoter, upon which they made clear that they were journalists and would only come to cover the whole event but not as Samsung’s representatives.
However, the day after the landing, all of the participants including the bloggers were called in for orientation, were asked to wear Samsung’s uniform and to show the new devices to the press. The bloggers refused to follow it, upon which the company threatened to abandon them in Berlin and canceling their flight tickets and hotel bookings. Consequently, the bloggers had to attend that day with Samsung’s uniform on and in Samsung’s booth.
Nevertheless, the bloggers were later offered by Nokia to take care of their hotel and flight costs and that they could cover the complete event.
Later, Samsung issued a public statement apologizing the bloggers without accepting the fault, saying that it was all a “misunderstanding”, although the personal email acknowledged that they were put through undue hardships and that the company wished to rectify the situation.