Samsung Australia fined for false advertising claim2022-06-23 18:19 by Daniela
The Federal Court of Australia hit Samsung's local unit with an AUD14 million ($9.6 million) penalty for making misleading claims in its advertising that some Galaxy smartphones were water-resistant and could be submerged in water.
The problem was not that the phones leaked. Rather, Samsung did not advise that if the phones were charged after a dunking, there was a "material prospect" the charging port would become corroded and stop working.
The vendor ran a marketing campaign between March 2016 and October 2018 featuring nine advertisements on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, its website and in retails outlets, which showed the Galaxy phones were suitable to be used in water.
The ads depicted Galaxy A-series, S7-series, and S8-series phones. They're all rated IP68, which means you can fully submerge them in water for an extended amount of time - in this case, up to 30 minutes to a depth of 1.5 meters (about five feet). But that protection only extends to freshwater - saltwater and chlorinated pool water are a different matter.
The claims "promoted an important selling point for these Galaxy phones. Many consumers who purchased a Galaxy phone may have been exposed to the misleading ads before they made their decision to purchase a new phone," said ACCC Chair Gina Cass-Gottlieb.
Samsung Australia later acknowledged submerging the smartphones in water could result in the charging port becoming corroded and stop functioning if the phone was charged while still wet.
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