Samsung sorry for 'sexism' at recent launch events

Samsung sorry for 'sexism' at recent launch events
Samsung's reputation has been tarnished in recent weeks by launch events

Samsung South Africa has issued an apology for the company's perceived sexist portrayal of women at recent launch events.

The Korean company has copped tons of flak since the Galaxy S4 launch pantomime in New York, which showcased the female characters as, to put it politely, tech-illiterate, wedding-obsessed, binge drinkers.

What didn't help matters was a similarly-timed washing machine launch in Cape Town, South Africa which utilised what female-oriented gadget side Girl Guides called 'barely pubescent dancers shaking their stuff in swimsuits,' as captured on Twitter by journalist Alex Burhmann (pictured).

The site penned a rather humorous open letter to Samsung, accusing the company of alienating women with its sexist marketing strategies at the Cape Town and New York events.

Sure enough, Samsung's South African office has responded with an apology for its use of "entertainment ladies" during the events.

No offence meant

The slice of humble pie, penned by head of marketing and corporate communications Michelle Potgeiter, read: "It has come to our attention that following recent Samsung events, there was dissatisfaction with the use of selected promotional/entertainment ladies to demonstrate the new line up of product(s).

"Samsung South Africa is committed to embracing a variety of consumers across our very diverse local market and in no way intended to isolate or offend any one of these audiences through these events.

"As a result, we would like to apologise for any offence caused in this regard and assure you that we acknowledge your views and opinions on the matter. To this end we will endeavour to be more sensitive around these issues going forward and will raise all relevant matters with our headquarters and respective regional offices accordingly."

The company was already reeling from the bad PR following the quite astoundingly poor-taste Galaxy S4 launch on March 14. One senses that a change in strategy, or at least a 'How to act in the 21st century' refresher course for marketing executives may be on the cards.

The Girl Guides site has welcomed the statement, hopes Sammy will learn from its mistakes and perhaps even start chipping in with the housework.


Chris Smith

A technology journalist, writer and videographer of many magazines and websites including T3, Gadget Magazine and He specializes in applications for smartphones, tablets and handheld devices, with bylines also at The Guardian, WIRED, Trusted Reviews and Wareable. Chris is also the podcast host for The Liverpool Way. As well as tech and football, Chris is a pop-punk fan and enjoys the art of wrasslin'.