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Samsung apologizes for tech bloggers' 'undue hardship'

Electronics giant says a misunderstanding led to a blogger being threatened with abandonment at IFA if he didn't do promotional work for the company.

Samsung has a major Android smartphone and tablet effort under its Galaxy brand, but Damien Cusick, general manager of Samsung Electronics UK, was eager to tout the range of new Windows-based devices the company is bringing to market.
At IFA 2012, Samsung Electronics UK's Damien Cusick touts the range of new Windows-based devices the company is bringing to market.
Stephen Shankland/CNET

Samsung says the events leading up to the mistreatment of a pair of tech bloggers at IFA 2012 was a "misunderstanding" and apologized for the "undue hardship."


The electronics giant contacted some mobile-tech bloggers in India and offered to fly them to the tech conference, now under way in Berlin. After agreeing to attend the conference as a reporter, one of the bloggers -- Clinton Jeff of New Dehli -- says he was told he would be expected to wear a company uniform and man a booth, showing off Samsung products to members of the media. When he resisted, he says he was told that he would have to find his own way home.

In a statement, Samsung placed the blame on a coordinator for the Mob!lers tech blogger program and said it was never the company's intention to force bloggers to do any promotion:

Samsung Mob!lers is a voluntary community of active Samsung mobile device users, who are offered the opportunity to participate in our marketing events across the world. At these events, all activities they undertake are on a voluntary basis. No activities are forced upon them.

We regret there was a misunderstanding between the Samsung Mob!lers coordinators and the relevant blogger, as we understand he was not sufficiently briefed on the nature of Samsung Mob!lers' activities at IFA 2012. We have been attempting to get in touch with him.

We respect the independence of bloggers to publish their own stories.

However, in an e-mail provided to The Next Web, a Samsung representative seemed to admit to Jeff that the company was at fault:

I would like to reach out to you and deeply apologize to you for your experience in Berlin at IFA. We put you through undue hardship and we are trying to rectify the situation.

CNET has contacted Samsung for comment on personal note and will update this report when we lean more.