After releasing a promotional video for a new smartphone that revealed it was shot by a video crew that did not use the device itself, Nokia promised that it will have an ethics officer review the situation.
During a presentation of the new Lumia 920 smartphone at a news conference by the company’s CEO, a video ad was played for the product that showed a woman riding a bicycle. The ad ostensibly showed the difference between other smartphone video footage and the Lumia’s new optical image stabilization, which Nokia touted as a reason for consumers to choose the device. As the biker rode past a parked trailer, however, a reflection in the window revealed a van with lighting equipment and a cameraman filming the scene.
Just hours later, a blog questioned how the video was shot. Nokia was quick to apologize. The video “simulates what we will be able to deliver with [optical image stabilization]. Of course, hindsight is 20/20, but we should have posted a disclaimer stating this was a representation of [optical image stabilization] only. This was not shot with a Lumia 920. At least, not yet. We apologize for the confusion we created,” the company wrote in a blog post “An apology is due.” The post also included a video shot using a Lumia 920.
The company said an ethics and compliance officer conduct an independent report. “What we understand to date is that it was nobody’s intention to mislead, but there was poor judgment in the decision not to use a disclaimer,” a company spokesperson told Bloomberg Businessweek.
To view the commercial, click here.
To read Nokia’s blog post, click here.
Why it matters: Nokia learned the hard way that a company’s marketing error can quickly become a news story, thanks to blogs and other forms of social media. The company is attempting to stay ahead of the potential controversy by quickly apologizing and conducting an ethics review. However, while its swift response will likely limit or eliminate any potential legal actions that might have resulted from consumers being misled as to the smartphone’s capabilities, the experience nevertheless serves as a reminder of how such an event can create a public relations headache.