Undoubtedly, the Note 7 fiasco was the most embarrassing incident for Samsung. However, a recent incident in Brazil will also land among the top of Samsung’s “oops” moments list as the Korean firm made a claim on something that didn’t belong to it, and got busted.
Claimed Getty images as its own
Samsung Brazil tried to pass stock photos claiming them as a sample from the Galaxy A8 front-facing camera. In a tweet (deleted now), promoting the Galaxy A8, Samsung Brazil said (translated), “A dating registered in many selfies. The front camera #GalaxyA8 has dynamic focus and highlights in the photo what matters most.”
— Fᴇʟɪᴘᴇʀᴀs (@feliperas) August 16, 2018
It is clear from the tweet that the company intended to mislead. The stock photo was edited to make it look brighter and included a Samsung watermark on the top. Despite the edits (and unfortunately for Samsung), one Twitter user spotted that the image is actually from Getty Images, and was uploaded some three years back.
The Samsung oops moment didn’t end there as the company did the same with another image, and with the same objective to demonstrate the Galaxy A8 front camera. “Was that willingness to take a selfie? #GalaxyA8 camera gives you the incredible photo, ready to post,” read the translated caption of the second image.
However, the second image also – titled “Boyfriend and girlfriend taking selfie, piggy back ride” – also turned out to be from Getty Images.
Essa, inclusive, não foi a única vez. pic.twitter.com/biJpKw6Oke
— Fᴇʟɪᴘᴇʀᴀs (@feliperas) August 16, 2018
After being confronted, Samsung Brazil admitted the mistake in a tweet, saying (translated): “Oops, sorry, you’re right, Feliperas. The answer given before was not really correct. Many of the photos we post are taken using our smartphones, but some, like that, are images that also express the attitude of our target audience.”
Another Samsung oops moment
Samsung Brazil’s marketing stunt can be dismissed as a mistake, but the fact that it happened with two images, makes the whole thing fishy. Possibly, the person entrusted with the task of promoting the Galaxy A8 front camera, tried a short cut by editing stock images to present them from the A8. Each Getty Images is worth about $499, so Samsung Brazil might have got away with just $998. But, the negative publicity that it generated for the company is something that can’t be quantified.
Setting aside the Samsung oops moment with the A8, the handset is a pretty good offering featuring glass-and-metal design and styling. The handset has a 5.6-inch Super AMOLED display presenting lush colors and deep blacks. The Korean firm calls this an “Infinity Display,” a display that is taller and narrower with an 18.5:9 aspect ratio, edge-to-edge and almost bezel-less design. The A8 is powered by the Samsung Exynos 7885 chip.
Another Samsung oops moment came a few months back, when the Samsung messages app reportedly sent photos to random users without even asking the owner. Many Galaxy S9, Galaxy S9+ and Note 8 users reported the glitch, where the Samsung Messages app starts sending photos – sometimes one and sometimes all in the gallery – without the user actually knowing it.
Huawei’s oops moment
Lately, the smartphone makers have been focusing more on pitching the front camera of their device. Samsung Brazil, however, has clearly gone a little too far with its advertising. But, Samsung is not the only company to have made claims on other’s photos. In 2016, a Chinese smartphone maker did something similar for its Huawei P9.
At the time, Huawei shared an image on its Google+ account. Though the company never specifically said that it came from the P9, it did try to suggest that P9’s dual camera setup can be credited for the image.
“We managed to catch a beautiful sunrise with Deliciously Ella. The #HuaweiP9’s dual Leica cameras makes taking photos in low light conditions like this a pleasure. Reinvent smartphone photography and share your sunrise pictures with us. #OO,” read the post on Google+ accompanying the image.
The EXIF data, however, revealed that the image was actually taken by a Canon EOS 5D Mark III, which costs $2,600. Also, for taking the image, the Canon camera used a $1,900 lens (EF70-200 f/2.8L IS II USM).
At the time, Huawei also apologized, not for claiming others’ image, but for not being clear.
“The photo, which was professionally taken while filming a Huawei P9 advert, was shared to inspire our community. We recognise though that we should have been clearer with the captions for this image. It was never our intention to mislead. We apologise for this and we have removed the image,” the Chinese company said in a statement to AndroidPolice then.