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Samsung says ad agency bribed devs who posted about competition

Samsung admits PR firm bribed bloggers for post, says it condemns the unethical actions, and apologizes.

57 seconds read time

Today, Samsung has admitted to allegations that developers were paid to mention its developer competition in the forums of the giant developer community Stack Overflow. Samsung says that a PR firm hired to promote the competition was offering the bloggers and developers "cash for content." In a statement to The Verge, Samsung condemned this behavior and says that it is "clearly against Samsung corporate policy."

Samsung says ad agency bribed devs who posted about competition |

Samsung says that as soon as it learned of the bribery taking place, it canceled the plans for the developer competition and parted ways with the firm. Samsung said, "We remain committed to engaging in transparent and honest communications with consumers." PR firm Fllu, the culprit behind the content buying tactics, apologized and claimed that they were a third party firm hired by another firm to handle some of the PR duties for the competition. Fllu's COO said in a statement that the tactics his company used were "misguided, unethical, and wrong."

This whole practice of seeding forums, blogs, and comments with paid content is known in the industry as "Astroturfing" and it is common for third, fourth, or fifth party shady ad agencies to do this without the main PR firm or client ever knowing about it. Not every client is innocent, though, because as the inception grows deeper, it makes it very hard to trace it all the way back up to the top and catch a major corporation red-handed.


A web developer by day, Charles comes to TweakTown after a short break from the Tech Journalism world. Formerly the Editor in Chief at TheBestCaseScenario, he now writes Maker and DIY content. Charles is a self proclaimed Maker of Things and is a major supporter of the Maker movement. In his free time, Charles likes to build just about anything, with past projects ranging from custom PC cooling control systems to 3D printers. Other expensive addictions include Photography, Astronomy and Home Automation.

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