Attention bloggers! If Samsung ever offers to fly you to an event, make sure they give you a round-trip ticket and hotel money up front!
According to a detailed story in The Next Web, some time back Samsung reportedly reached out to some mobile-tech bloggers in India and offered to fly them to the IFA 2012 conference now underway in Berlin. One of the bloggers — Clinton Jeff of New Delhi — said he made clear that he would only attend the conference as a reporter, and that he would not be doing any promotional work for the company. Samsung reportedly had no issues with that.
Samsung did some odd things leading up to the conference though, such as requesting the blogger’s clothing measurements. And wouldn’t you know it, when the bloggers arrived in Berlin, they were given Samsung shirts and told to report for uniform fittings! They were then told they would be manning a Samsung booth during the conference, and showing Samsung products to “members of the press.”
When Jeff expressed an unwillingness to shill for Samsung, a PR representative for the company allegedly told him over the phone, “you can either be a part of this and wear the uniform, or you’ll have to get your own tickets back home and handle your hotel stay from the moment this call ends.”
Samsung eventually reversed itself, a little. The representative then told Jeff Samsung would pay for his flight, 5 days earlier than originally planned, thus allowing no time for Jeff to attend the conference, and then only if he agreed to wear a Samsung shirt at one event, and to never blog about the incident.
How’d Jeff make out? OK, as he tweeted about the incident: “For everyone asking, I’m fine thanks! I have a hotel, I have tickets home, thanks to @nokia who swooped in and helped me @ the last minute”
So, if you get a great offer to ride somewhere on Samsung’s dime, take a page from the prepared dater’s handbook, and always have a backup plan for getting home.