Olympic athletes vs. Samsung Facebook campaign

Fri 27 April 2012 17:40, Tamara Yadvichuk

Olympic athletes vs. Samsung Facebook campaign

Remember Samsung Genome Project I wrote about a couple weeks ago?  It’s a Facebook app by Samsung which lets ordinary, non-Olympian people find out what they have in common with famous athletes: if they went to the same school, or like the same movie, or visited the same place on holiday, the users can score points, share with friends, win prizes and so on. Well, something must have gone wrong.

Eighteen athletes, among them swimming stars Mark Spitz and Janet Evans, filed a lawsuit against Samsung Co. and their Genome, accusing the latter of using their names, pictures and info for marketing purposes, mainly to create an impression that these athletes are endorsers of Samsung products, which, in fact, they aren’t.  

The app was launched with a “blessing and help from the US Olympic Committee”, Mashable reports, but this didn’t save Samsung from the lawsuit. The company claims that they informed all the athletes by email and gave them a chance to ‘opt out’ of the project.

The lawsuit seems a little unfair to me. It’s understandable that athletes would like to make some money appearing in the media, but for some of the less-known athletes projects like that provide exposure that they wouldn’t get otherwise. What do you think?



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