Samsung decries ad agency for Android developer competition bribes
Samsung Electronics admonished digital marketing agency partner Fllu for offering Android application developers cash in exchange for mentioning the manufacturer's upcoming Smart App Challenge on the Stack Overflow programmer site.
On Thursday, Android developer Delyan Kratunov blogged an exchange with Fllu COO John Yoo, who wrote "I was wondering if you would be interested in doing a small partnership to promote the upcoming Samsung Smart App Challenge. We need guys that know about Android Apps on Stackoverflow." After Kratunov asked for details, Yoo responded "All we need you to do is talk about the SSAC (Samsung Smart App Challenge) and get the word out. How? We were thinking about 4 questions on Stackoverflow over the span of a month..... as well as replies to posts made by other members. Don't worry about finding the questions to reply to because we will send you links." Yoo said Fllu would pay Kratunov $500 for his participation.
Samsung acknowledged Yoo's actions in a statement issued to The Verge but said they were "clearly against Samsung Electronics corporate policy." The device maker contends it was not aware of Fllu's cash-for-content efforts and halted Yoo's plans once it discovered the bribery scheme. "We remain committed to engaging in transparent and honest communications with consumers," Samsung said.
Kratunov also posted a follow-up email from Yoo reading in part "There has been contact that was made from our company regarding promotional opportunities, specifically to be made via public community channels--namely Stackexchange/Stackoverflow. Please note that our request to promote via these public channels is a breach against their Terms of Service and could result in your account being terminated. We do not condone such actions that contradict the respective forum policies and would like to redact any correspondences made. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused."
Samsung is the world's largest Android device manufacturer. The company reported record net profits of $6.97 billion in the second quarter of 2013, up from $4.56 billion in the year-ago period and higher than the previous record of $6.41 billion in the first quarter of this year. Sales in Samsung's mobile business jumped to $31 billion, up from $20.1 billion in the year-ago quarter and $28.51 billion in the year-ago period.
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