Samsung under fire for misleading Australian phone ads

Samsung’s Australian unit is being sued for accusations of false and misleading advertising.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has filed a lawsuit against Samsung Electronics Co Ltd’s (005930.KS) Australia. The ACCC claims that the company misleads Australian consumers in promoting Galaxy smartphones as suitable to use in swimming pools and while surfing.

In the lawsuit, ACCC says that Samsung did not run sufficient tests with regards to the pool or saltwater exposure on its water-proof phones when commercials show them fully submerged. On a statement last Thursday the Chairman of ACCC Rod Sims said:

“The ACCC alleges Samsung’s advertisements falsely and misleadingly represented Galaxy phones would be suitable for use in, or for exposure to, all types of water … when this was not the case.”

This is the first case that the biggest smartphone producer will face from a major regulator. The case could set Samsung back with multi-million dollar fines. Is centers on over 300 ads showing Galaxy smartphones being used in the ocean and in under swimming pools.

“Samsung showed the Galaxy phones used in situations they shouldn’t be to attract customers,” Sims continued to say.

“Samsung’s advertisements, we believe, denied consumers an informed choice and gave Samsung an unfair competitive advantage.”

Samsung has responded to the issue saying it stands by the advertisements, complied with Australian law and would take legal action in defending the case.

Samsung’s claims of water resistance for their devices were heavily scrutinized back in 2018 when Consumer Reports said its Galaxy S7 phones failed a water immersion test. This is despite commercials showing the device dunked in a fish tank.

Christian Woods
Christian Woods
Christian is a morning reporter and technology columnist for Best in Australia. Christian has worked in the media since 2000, in a range of locations. He joined Best in Australia in 2018, and began working in Melbourne in 2019.
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