Mobile phone giant Samsung has been accused of using a charity appeal in order to score points over its smartphone rivals in a new ad posted to YouTube.
The company gave its flagship Galaxy S5 handset a cold shower on Friday in aid of the Ice Bucket Challenge craze, geared towards raising funds and awareness for the motor neuron disease ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis).
In the video, created for Samsung Mobile’s UK arm, the Galaxy S5’s S Voice app nominates the Apple iPhone, HTC One M8 and Nokia Lumia 930 handsets to take the challenge.
However, cynical tech fans believe there could be a more sinister motive in play. The assertion from critics is that Samsung used the viral nature of the Ice Bucket Challenge in order to play up a certain S5 feature.
The Galaxy S5 just happens to boast waterproof technology, whereas the handsets it nominated do not. The rival Sony Xperia Z2, for example, is also waterproof, but is not among those mentioned in the clip.
YouTube user Derek Ross was among those voicing their disapproval at Samsung’s video. He wrote: "You have no class Samsung. If you wanted to participate, you should have had a executive or company figurehead partake in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. All you're doing here is trying sell your product and belittle your competitors all the while using a campaign that's meant to raise money and awareness for a scary as hell disease.”
Samsung’s choice to use a product to raise awareness, rather than an executive, comes after Apple’s Tim Cook and Microsoft’s Bill Gates joined a legion of sports stars, celebrities and members of the public by accepting the challenge.
Samsung claimed it had made a donation to the appeal, but not not disclose the amount.
Do you refuse to give Samsung the benefit of the (considerable) doubt? Or do you commend the company for raising awareness while thinking outside of the box? Take a look at the video and let us know your thoughts below.
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