Samsung-gate spreading outside Sweden?

I blogged the other day about how a “viral agency” had been posting nice reviews in Swedish online forums on behalf of Samsung, but without disclosing their true identity. The scam was revealed and in a comment to the marketing blog Adland, Samsung said that the procedure was out of line and that they had put an end to it.

However, it seems that this undercover operation to get a buzz going may not be limited to Sweden. In an article today on the UK computer forum, Deputy Editor Tom Royal, writes that someone has started threads on the forum, promoting Samsung products such as digital video cameras.

“The user who started the thread wanted to share a video showing the “12 Mega Pixel quality that creates a clear and fine video” of a Samsung camera – which is fair enough, perhaps. But then check his previous posts: here, here and here. It’s fair to say that he’s very interested in Samsung products and nothing else.”

The IP address to the user “Huey” comes from Seoul, South Korea. Tom Royal is pointing out that the IP addresses are not directly associated with Samsung. But we are starting to see a pattern here. I did some further investigation and found that the video that was linked to in the Computeractive forum has also been posted on a number of Korean forums, as well as this UK forum. The text in this post is the exact same as the text on Computeractive:

“This is a short sample video that is recorded by a new Samsung camcorder R10. Although the environment of aquarium was not proper enough to shoot by a camcorder, R10 did capture every single movement of beautiful sea animals in a dark aquarium. It has a 12 Mega Pixel quality that creates a clear and fine video.”

Even though we still have no evidence that this was done on purpose, it may just be a fanatic Samsung fan, we should dig a little deeper. If you do a Google search of a snippet of the text above, you get more hits in online forums, for example here. Once again, same video, same text as above. But this time it was posted by a user named “samsungimaging”, located in London, which is also linked to an official Samsung page called and this page is run by Samsung: “© has been launched in January 2009 by Samsung Electronics, in order to improve the relationship and communication with our customers.”

Other places with the same text and video are here, here and here.

I realize that it is possible that Samsung has nothing to do with the spreading of this video, it may just be enthusiastic fans or spam sites that scrape content online. But it is starting to look a bit suspiciuos don’t you think? Tom Royal has tried to get a comment from Samsung and promised to post if he gets a response. We will continue to follow this story as it unveils.

Footnote: Original story found here, in Swedish.

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Samsung caught in fake Swedish viral campaign

Samsung has been caught with their pants down in an attempt to create a buzz in Swedish online forums for their LED tv sets. A Swedish agency called the Viral Company has been posting comments and questions to numerous forums about the best LED tvs, pretending to be an ordinary consumer. With fake identities the Viral Company tried to get the word going in forums about gaming, movies, home electronics, outdoor life and so forth.


But they did a major mistake when they added a smiley to the posts with the purpose of tracking conversations, since the URL for the smiley icon went to a domain name owned by the Viral Company ( So the little scam was brutally revealed, and here is the fun part – someone else is following in the footsteps of the Viral Company, calling them out as cheaters. A user named “Felmeddelande” (Error message, in English) posts comments to the different forum threads explaining that these posts are done on behalf of Samsung, which in most cases are in breach of forum rules.


If you do a Google search for (the image has now been taken down) or you get a long list of forum posts, almost all about LED tvs. The question now is, how much of these tactics did Samsung Sweden know about. If the campaign has been approved by Samsung then they are in desperate need of some rethinking in terms of social media strategy, because this campaign was doomed to backfire from the very start. It will also be interesting to see how they will handle this online crisis situation. Will they stay silent or will they address the issue?

Hat tip to @pellet who blogged about this story he calls Samsung-gate, in Swedish this morning. See also Adland (in English).

Update Feb 15: Adland has talked to Samsung about the matter. See more details here.

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