EXCLUSIVE: When Samsung Australia first launched their LED flat panel TV’s in Australia 12 months ago, several vendors squealed in protest, all the way to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, they claimed that Samsung’s LED TV advertising was “false and misleading”.
The competitors, which included brands like Sony, LG and Panasonic, told the ACCC that what Samsung was selling was not “really LED TV technology” but backlight LED technology.
Now the Chairman of ACCC has acknowledged their claims, with Samsung forced to modify their marketing for LED TV’s.
What is not known is whether Samsung is set to be fined for misleading consumers.
According to ACCC Chairman Graeme Samuel, the ACCC has investigated several claims relating to LED technology, made by TV vendors including Samsung. Some are still ongling including one with a leading Chinese brand.
He said “we have investigated several vendors as to whether their sets are LED after complaints to the ACCC by several vendors”.
Referring to Samsung, who has 70% share of the Australian LED TV market Samuel said “We have investigated claims that their TV sets were LED. They are not, they are LCD with LED backlighting”
He added ” We have taken them to task on this because an impression has been given that their TV’s are LED which delivers a superior viewing experience. You cannot produce a true LED TV at the moment, they are all backlight LCD technology. We have taken them to task because they are creating the impression that they are creating TV’s with wiz bang reproduction viewing technology when they are not.”
He added “The quality of their vision claims was simply not true. We found out about this because their competitors cane to us telling us that the claims being made were simply impossible from the TV’s being sold by the vendor”.
The ACCC said that Samsung had been forced to modify their marketing both in print and online.
Lambro Skropidis Head of Marketing at Samsung Australia confirmed that Samsung Australia had been spoken to by the ACCC and that the Company is now using a new description relating to LED TV’s in current Samsung advertisements, website pages and other publications where “LED TV” is referred to.
He said “as you will see from our website, Samsung’s description states that “Samsung’s ‘LED TVs’ combine LCD screens with LED edge-lights.This description of the relevant technology is used wherever possible and practicable when the LED logo is used. This is an accurate representation of the product & its technology & an appropriate way to communicate to consumers”.