Advertising has always been more about influencing people’s perception than giving them the truth. What really sells today, depends on how it has been advertised. Sometimes taking claims too far can land you in a real soup. So was the case with a recent controversy surrounding Samsung mobile phones.
Samsung has managed to always stay in the limelight in the last decade or so, sometimes for its features and uniqueness but more so for its lawsuits. Samsung Electronics Australia will be dragged to federal court, for misleading consumers into believing in the water resistance prowess of its Galaxy S10 phones (which are sold for $1,199 and above). The company started advertising the phones as water resistant for 30 minutes at a depth of 1.5 meters. The ads also showed the usage of phones in different water bodies and conditions, giving the perception to consumers that a universal water resistance logic can be applied to it. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) alleges that it was a misleading message.
The claim and advertising pitch were the main draw for customers who bought the mobiles. But the phones were really only tested in fresh water conditions and will not survive salt water like seas or even swimming pools. A tiny print on Samsung websites notifies consumers of this particular, “fresh water” condition.
As the claim that drove sales, it was too fine a print says ACCC, “Samsung showed the Galaxy phones used in situations they shouldn’t be to attract customers.”
Samsung released a statement stating, “We are confident that we provide customers with free-of-charge remedies in a manner consistent with Samsung’s obligations under its manufacturer warranty and the Australian Consumer Law.” Further defending its claims to be true.