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Samsung sorry for bloggers' Berlin nightmare

Asher Moses and Ben Grubb, Sydney Morning Herald | Sept. 5, 2012
Samsung has apologised to an Indian blogger who claimed the company stranded him and another blogger in Germany after they refused to become Samsung promoters.

The company also put out a press release on the issue but did not admit fault in its statement. It put the issue down to a "misunderstanding" and said no activities were forced upon bloggers who it invites to its marketing events around the world.

"How Samsung treated me really hurt me," said Jeff. "I mean I did not expect that at all. Come on, who does that? All we wanted was to cover their products, and maybe others but this was insane."

The Guardian reported that it confirmed there had been a similar "misunderstanding" with a French technology blogger who was sent by Samsung to the Olympics in London. Instead of attending events the blogger was told she had to create promo video and photos.

Samsung provides the free trips to bloggers under its "Mobilers" program in which bloggers get to trial the latest Samsung products and attend its events. But the way it is structured appears to blur the lines between editorial and cash-for-comment in the blogosphere.

Jeff said he still intended to cover Samsung devices impartially on his blog. In a tweet published this morning he said he met Samsung representatives who apologised profusely and told him "the Mobilers program was not targeted towards professional bloggers like me".

Blogger Amit Bhawani wrote a post describing the Mobiler program in detail which suggested there were two Mobiler options - one for "reporters" and one for "promoters". Bharwani said bloggers are informed of this in advance but Jeff claims he was blackmailed into being a promoter despite confirming ahead that he was going there as a reporter.

Meanwhile, Samsung today announced that a version of its Galaxy S III handset that supports 4G networks would be available soon from Telstra and Optus.


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