South Korean giant, Samsung has made some very serious allegations of bribery on ad agency 'Fllu' that was under its tutelage. It says the firm tried to grease the palms of developers in return for praise for Samsung.
Samsung has its ethical limits. The offering of money to developers for the sake of getting them to mention competition figures on Stack Overflow is a little too much for the electronics behemoth to stomach. Its Smart App Promotion sought to spread third party developer adoption of the Chord SDK. But after learning that some hanky-panky was going on while it was looking the other way, it has called off the whole thing. The company has clearly made mention of the fact that such actions go against its corporate philosophy.
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Furthermore, Samsung claims it had no knowledge of the actions being carried out under its nose. The fact that a firm that came under its umbrella was giving money in return for meaning was counter to what Samsung stood for. The PR agency that got caught in the midst of the whole affair was named Fllu. Its Director of Operations, James Yoo offered a written apology on the Internet regarding the mishap and misunderstanding.
This phenomenon which has been observed in recent years is known as astroturfing. In return for a little legal tender people will spread the word. And it works in reverse too. There are many smear campaigns that have been deliberately orchestrated via a whole lot of money and backing by someone powerful.
While not entirely to blame for the scandal, Samsung will have to be extra cautious in the future. Its PR agencies will have to be restrained otherwise some serious damage could be done to the reputation and image of the electronic enterprise. Already people are beginning to call it “Spam Sung”.
Source: The Verge