Samsung which sells both plasma and LCD TVs has called in its lawyers following the release of a national Panasonic advertising campaign that claims more Australians prefer plasma over LCD TV after viewing the two TV technologies together.
10 days ago Sony also issued an open letter to retailers after taking legal advice over the campaign. The letter claimed it was Sony’s belief that rather than dispelling myths as it purports, the Panasonic campaign is actually confusing the market”.
Legal letters sent by Samsung Lawyers to Panasonic claim that material aspects of the campaign do not accurately reflect the facts about LCD and that the Panasonic campaign may be in breach Section 52 of the Trade Practices Act.
Samsung Corporate Marketing Manager Kurt Jovais said “While we support consumer choice of the two formats (being the No1 supplier of LCDs and the No2 supplier of plasmas in the world), both of which have their merits, and we support the use of clever advertising campaigns, we feel it is incumbent upon advertisers to ensure their advertisements accurately reflect the facts. Our lawyers have written to Panasonic to address our concerns and to ask for the research methodology”.
This has been refused, says Samsung.
Following legal threats from Sony and Samsung, Panasonic has chosen to delete or change some of their statements on their website. However Samsung feel their response is inadequate.
Jovais said in an email to SHN “Samsung considering our next actions, which may include a request for corrective advertising for misleading statements per Section 52 of the Trade Practices Act”.
Carl Rose the Managing Director of Sony said of the campaign “The Synovate study that Panasonic bases its campaign on was conducted in conditions inherently favourable to plasma rather than in the real conditions that Australians watch TV. According to the research itself, 86% of the research group, albeit small, said that they watch TV in rooms with indirect light or with the main lighting source on. It is important that consumers and floorstaff know that the comparison test was conducted in 50lux conditions which most people would likely describe as a dimly lit room – an environment which is unlikely to match the viewing habits of the majority of Australians.”