It is not uncommon that Samsung smart phones are used everywhere in all walks of lives, including students, workers and officers. Its advertisements of the newest model of smart phones are also shown in TV, magazines most of the days, if not all. Samsung is one of the largest information technology company, sharing almost all market shares with Apple, it’s major competitor. With making SIS$30 billion dollars net income per year, however, it may be hard to imagine that Samsung is submerged into some unethical marketing practices.
There is a shocking news reported in the October of 2013, which grab the attention all over the world, including Samsung customers and its competitors as well. Although Samsung has such a large market share in the smart phone industry, with almost half of it, the markets still does not satisfy with it and wanted to further enlarge its share. The marketers would like to use a large number of hired writers and designated employees to post fake comments saying the ETC (one of the competitors of Samsung) onto different forums in Taiwan in the purpose of castrating the potential consumers from buying Itch’s smart phone products.
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After that the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) discovered that and investigate in to the issue, and found that it is done through a third-party marketing company. Finally, $340,000 was fined for Samsung for this unfair marketing strategy. The unethical marketing practice performed by Samsung was said to be a deceptive practice. Since Samsung paid many floggers or writers to blacken the image of its competitor, ETC, indirectly in order to attract the potential customers of ETC to consume the products its own brand.
The innocent customer may blindly believed in the massive fake comments as these comments are appeared in many phone-related websites and they cannot find out the writers of the comments through internet. Therefore, the customers may had a worse image on ETC and switch to another brand, which might most probably Samsung. The marketers of Samsung use such an unethical marketing method to try to cheat the customers by providing misleading and deceptive promotions in an indirect way should not be appreciated.
Indeed, profitable customer relationships are build with value and trust. Samsung product do have their value and own relatively high quality compared with its competitors, there is n reason for Samsung to destroy the image of others by spreading fake rumors through internet. The trust between the company and their customers will be deteriorated, it is really hard to reconnect the trust between them once there is a fault. In the future, Samsung should put much emphasis on its value and trust between customers to bring itself back to the right track.
Moreover, Samsung is suffered in the criticisms for their planned obsolescence. Like other information technology company, especially for those who focus their products on smart phone also be criticized for the obsolescence that they planned with an aim to make more profit by selling more models of their phones. Samsung series, both of them persistently introduce new models of smart phones every year. Plenty advertisements are made in different channels to transmit the information of the new products to the public.
Although the changes in both outer look and inner equipments do not have a big difference when compared with the old one, many people are excited with the announcement of the new products and wanted to buy one once they have launched. Since the whole society is submerged into materialism, people are Judged by what they own, while the markers of Samsung successfully grab the weaknesses of the consumers and persuade them to buy the latest in order to keep themselves trendy or looks fashionable. Therefore, it create a trend of obsolescence that people still consume the newest model even if the one they own is still fully functioning.
Indeed, the unethical marketing practice harms not only their customers, but also he society. The waste that planned obsolescence created, most likely the electrical wastes, contains much toxic chemical material which may badly affect the soil of the land and also last long for hundreds of years. People may be poisoned when the wastes are not treated properly. The social cost should also be considered when making marketing decisions. Things can be done better by Samsung on the criticism of planned obsolescence. Including having a balance stroked between the products they introduce and the impact to the whole society.
It is suggested that the frequency of launching new products should be lowered to every two years or the government should make Samsung to bear some of the social cost as the punishment for its operation.