Written by Noemi Pollack on September 13, 2012.
The global edition of the NYT had a story yesterday on the latest PR stunt to allegedly support the nature-preservation efforts of Vladimir Putin. This one had him flying, rather hang-gliding (motorized) in sync with flying cranes, geared at re-introducing Siberian cranes into the wild. Sounds fine until reported that the cranes had been a set up and were flown in for the “event.” Previously he had been shown placing a satellite transmitter collar on what appeared to be a wild Siberian tiger, who in reality was heavily sedated as was the case with the wild polar bear in 2010. Maybe good photo ops for Putin, but the Russian public was not impressed.
Funny, but deceptive anyway…
Maybe Putin being Putin got away with it, but Nokia got caught when last week’s news reported that Nokia had demoed their latest technology – the new Lumia 920 smartphone with optical image stabilization (OIS) technology for shaky hands. But in this transparent world the company got caught red-handed when sharp-eyed bloggers watching the ad caught the reflection in the window of the cameraman in a white van, using a professional camera to record the entire event. It turns out the video was not shot at all with the Lumia 920 by Nokia’s own admission, since the technology is in pre-production. Moreover the company admitted to using misleading marketing materials for a new line of phones
Once a dominant force in the mobile phone market, it has been hit hard by competition, most notably Apple, Samsung and others. But surely deception is the wrong road to take to regain market share. What is most puzzling is why Nokia thought that they could get away with it. Maybe 15 years ago they could, when neither bloggers nor the 24/7 social media conversations were around, but today? What were they thinking? Did they cave in to shareholders demands? Was competition the driver? Was it a coincidence that Nokia’s introduction followed a move by Samsung in August to show off its own Windows 8 phone and that Apple’s upcoming introduction of its next iPhone is happening this week?
Apology accepted, but faking video and photos from a camera is not cool. Nokia got a well-deserved black eye for this one. The deception has dinged its credibility.
And besides Putin and Nokia there was another tidbit in the news that is apropos to deception. Apparently L’Oreal’s Lancôme USA subsidiary, markets their pricey anti-wrinkle cream product as “boosting the activity of genes and stimulating the production of youth proteins.” Wait a minute, what’s wrong with that? In a rare rebuke to a major cosmetics maker, the FDA says that if it affects the way the human body works, it would need to be classified as a drug, which would need FDA approval.