Taiwan’s FTC has fined Samsung $340,000 for astroturfing, which means making fake comments to bash or tras talk competitor products and try to feign as if these comments are from genuine readers.
Samsung has apparently hired an army of commentators via a 3rd party marketing firm to diss the handsets of rival HTC and praise its own smartphones. A website called TaiwanSamsungLeaks.org began publishing internal documents from the company outlining the scam in April. The trade commission started its investigation into Samsung in April after those leaks.
Samsung’s official response looks kind of funny,
“We are disappointed that the Taiwan FTC has decided that we have violated the Fair Trade Act based on online marketing activities. However, we remain committed to engaging in transparent and honest communication with consumers,” a Samsung spokesperson told VatorNews.
“Samsung Electronics Taiwan is carefully reviewing the decision and will take all necessary steps to protect our reputation as a company which values its customers. Samsung Electronics Taiwan will continue to provide exceptional value for consumers in Taiwan through a wide variety of innovative products and services.”
What do you think? Is it really ethical of such a big company to resort to such practices?