Samsung has found itself in hot water a French consumer watchdog sued the company for deceptive marketing practices . As reported by Que Choisir, this all relates to Samsung's claims about running an ethical business.
This is not welcome news for Samsung after what has actually been quite a successful couple of months. After a dip, the company's stranglehold on the top of the smartphone distributor charts looks set to strengthen.
This is in no small part to the decline of one of its rivals, Huawei, who may leave the smartphone market altogether. This is due to restrictions placed upon it by the U.S.
This lawsuit originates in France and the consumer watchdog UFC Que Choisir. They accuse Samsung of using systematically deceptive marketing strategies.
Samsung accused of deceptive marketing strategies
The consumer watchdog that sued Samsung claims that the company has built up and image of a fair-trade organization. However, in reality, the company fails to live up to that ideal.
UFC-Que Choisir described the strategy as an example of "persistent malpractice". The specific term used was that Samsung has been 'fairwashing' its own image.
This all comes after allegations of Samsung's use of child labour in cobalt mines in Congo. If true a quite obvious example of them as a not all too ethical company.
The lawsuit also mentions examples of suspected forced labour in China. It also mentions the possibility of toxic chemical exposure incidents in South Korea.
The lawsuit also claims that these issues have been exacerbated greatly by the global pandemic currently raging around the world. As such the overall goal of the litigation is to force Samsung into putting its stated principles into practice.
This is not the first lawsuit of this type filed against Samsung. In July 2019, ActionAid France and Sherpa filed a similar piece of litigation against the company.
Samsung tends not to comment on ongoing litigation proceedings and as such has not made a statement on the matter.
Overall, this could be quite a worrying trend for companies as many now try to represent an image of an ethical company as a marketing strategy. This could then come to bite them if dodgy practices are revealed which do not align with the image they portray.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out as it may have repercussions for other big companies around the globe. There is no word yet on how this lawsuit will proceed.