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Samsung Strands Bloggers After They Refuse to Shill for Company

September 3, 2012

By Gilbert Falso :: 1:17 AM

Samsung strands bloggerA scathing article in TheNextWeb accuses technology giant Samsung of misleading a group of bloggers and threatening to strand them thousands of miles from home at a conference that the company paid their travel to.

Samsung runs a blogger outreach program, called Mobilers, in India, where they work with tech bloggers and journalists to get their products promoted in the marketplace. Mobilers ran a contest where the prize was round-trip air travel and conference tickets to the IFA Consumer Electronics Conference in Berlin, Germany.

Clinton Jeff, a blogger for the site, Unleash the Phones, entered the contest and won, along with another unnamed blogger. Once Jeff flew from India to Germany to attend the event, however, things began to get weird.

Samsung had asked for Jeff’s clothing measurements right before the trip. Jeff was skeptical, but provided his information, only to find that Samsung wanted him to don company clothing and promote their products in the Samsung booth on the convention expo floor. If Jeff refused, he said, the company would cancel his return ticket to India.

Jeff told the company’s PR representative that, under no terms, was he going to act as a company representative in the booth. The agreement, he explained, was for him to be there as a blogger, not a shill. Upon hearing this, Samsung’s PR department immediately cancelled his return airfare.

After some discussion and giving in on Jeff’s part (he wore the shirt and skulked around the booth for a day), he thought things would be patched up, but that appears not to be the case, Samsung has revoked not only his return ticket home, but also his hotel stay for the duration of the conference. Another company, Nokia, has swooped in to provide hotel accommodations and a return ticket home for Jeff.

The moral of the story? Bloggers should be wary of tech firms bearing free trips – at least unless they have their own way to get back home!