Ksenia Sobchak, a Russian journalist, politician and reality TV show host, has just been fined by Samsung for RUB108 million (~RM6.87 million). The reason behind the suit? She’s been seen using an iPhone despite being Samsung’s brand ambassador.
Sobchak is required by her brand ambassador contract to appear in public using a Samsung smartphone. Despite this, she was caught on camera using an iPhone X. She’s also seen making a very poor attempt at hiding the fact, partially shielding the phone using here cue cards.
It’s apparently not the only sighting either. The Mirror reports that she’s also been seen at social events using the Apple smartphone instead of the Samsung one.
Influencer culture is here to stay, and to that effect, brands are unlikely to stop paying celebrities to endorse and use their devices in public. But with that, comes risks like this where the person paid to endorse one company’s product ends up being seen using the product of another.
And the greater irony is that when such a lawsuit is publicized, both brands end up being in the limelight – something the paying brand would ideally want to avoid.