Brand ambassadors are certainly not a new thing. Android manufacturers have quite a few of them. But while those celebrities are paid to endorse a device out in public, sometimes they just might not want to actually use the thing.
That appears to be the case for Samsung’s brand ambassador in Russia. The company brought on politician and reality TV star Ksenia Sobchak to market its devices, hiring the public figure as a brand ambassador and expecting her to use the company’s products while out in public. As reported by The Mirror, Sobchak has not been sticking to the contract. Most recently, Sobchak was seen using an iPhone X while shooting a television interview.
Sobchak apparently tries to hide the iPhone X while using it, using a piece of paper, but the incident was caught on video and prompting the discovery to spread across social media. It turns out that Sobchak has actually been caught using Apple’s iPhone in the past, including at major social events and on other TV appearances.
As a result, Samsung is suing Sobchak for 108 million rubles (about $1.6 million). As noted in a separate report from AppleInsider, it’s possible that Samsung is suing Sobchak for a lot more money than what she was paid to promote the Samsung brand out there in the wild. That would include penalties for breaching the contract:
“The numerous sightings has led to Samsung suing Sobchak for a reported 108 million rubles (approximately $1.6 million) for breach of contract. It is unknown how much Sobchak was originally paid by Samsung, but it is likely the suit’s claimed damages are far higher in value, including penalties for breaking the agreement. “
Still, it’s not known just how much Sobchak was paid by Samsung to promote the brand.
It’s not uncommon for companies to pay for brand ambassadors. But it’s also not uncommon for brand ambassadors to use different devices than the ones they are being paid to promote. That’s the reality of it, though, and it’s a business decision.
[via AppleInsider; The Mirror]