Samsung Taiwan advertising agency allegedly paid students to criticise HTC
Samsung is under investigation by Taiwanese authorities following allegations that its advertising agency in the country paid students to post online articles about rival HTC.
The Taiwanese Fair Trade Commission (FTC) told AFP that it set up the inquiry last week after being told that Samsung’s local advertising agency had hired the students to criticise HTC and recommend Samsung smartphones instead.
The case will determine whether Samsung did in fact do this, and whether it amounts to false advertising. If the claims stick, Korean manufacturer and its advertising agency could face a fine of up to $835,000 (£545,000).
Samsung Taiwan advertising
Samsung Taiwan had originally claimed that it was unaware of the FTC’s actions, but later wrote on its Facebook page that it regretted “any inconvenience and confusion from the Internet event,” adding that “Samsung Taiwan has halted all Internet marketing such as posting articles on websites.”
HTC and Samsung are two of the leading Android smartphone manufacturers, although Samsung’s worldwide market share is considerably larger than its Taiwanese rival. HTC has struggled in the past year and has placed its hopes of a recovery in the recently launched HTC One smartphone.
Samsung is due to release the Samsung Galaxy S4 later this month, boasting a larger 5-inch Super AMOLED display, 1.9 GHz quad-core processor, Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and a 13 megapixel camera.
If the company is fined for the alleged advertising practices, it wouldn’t be the first time. The FTC fined Samsung TW$300,000 earlier this year for a misleading advertisement about the camera functions on Samsung’s Galaxy Y Duos GT-S6102.
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