Smartphone maker Samsung is one of the largest and most successful manufacturers in the smartphone and tablet industry. Being the largest and most successful doesn’t mean that Samsung is immune to using some dirty tactics in its marketing campaigns. In April of 2013, Samsung was investigated by the Taiwanese Fair Trade Commission after allegations that Samsung had hired students to post malicious comments about HTC online.
That investigation is now complete and Samsung has been fined NT$10 million by the Fair Trade Commission in Taiwan. That fine works out to about $340,000 in the US. Samsung was hit with the fine for hiring students to give misleading impressions about HTC and Samsung’s own products on local forums.
The advertising campaign that landed Samsung in hot water included posts on the web claiming to be from happy owners of Samsung products heaping praise on the manufacturer’s goods. Those comments were at the expense of Samsung’s rivals’ products and is a violation of fair trade rules according to the Taiwan FTC.
Samsung was found have hired two marketing companies in these advertising campaigns called OpenTide Taiwan Co. and Sales and Profit International Co. Each of those companies was also hit with a fine with OpenTide fined NT$3 million and Profit International fined NT$50,000. This isn’t the first time Samsung has been fined for misleading advertising in Taiwan. The Taiwan FTC fined Samsung NT$300,000 earlier this year over misleading advertisements about camera functionality on the Samsung Galaxy Y Duos GT-S6102.