Electronics giant Samsung has said that a misunderstanding led to a blogger being threatened with abandonment at IFA if he didn't do promotional work for the company.
Samsung said that the events leading up to the mistreatment of a pair of tech bloggers at IFA 2012 was a "misunderstanding" and apologised for the "undue hardship".
The electronics giant contacted some mobile-tech bloggers in India and offered to fly them to the tech conference, which is now underway in Berlin. After agreeing to attend the conference as a reporter, one of the bloggers — Clinton Jeff of New Delhi — said he was told that 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 said 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 Mobilers tech blogger program, and said it was never the company's intention to force bloggers to do any promotion:
Samsung Mobilers 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 Mobilers coordinators and the relevant blogger, as we understand he was not sufficiently briefed on the nature of Samsung Mobilers' 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 email 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 apologise 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 and will update this report when we learn more.