Not too many developers seem to know about the Samsung Smart App Challenge, something that Samsung very much wanted to change.
Enter Korean marketing firm Fllu.
Fllu, in an attempt to further spread the word about Samsung’s contest, began offering money to app developers hanging out at Stack Overflow — a question and answer site for programmers.
One of those programmers, Delyan Kratunov, was contacted by Fllu CCO John Yoon, The Verge reports.
Yoon offered $US500 to Kratunov. All he had to do was post four questions to Stack Overflow, inquiring in an “organic” way about Samsung’s Smart App Challenge. If he was willing to post the questions and respond to any followup questions, the money was his.
Kratunov, offended by the request and the attempt to take advantage of his positive reputation on the site, posted the entire conversation to his blog.
After the story gained traction, Fllu sent a followup email to Kratunov, redacting the original offer after and saying that the request violated Stack Overflow’s terms of service.
Ironically enough, Business Insider has discovered a Fllu blog post from earlier this year titled “Digital Growth Must Be Organic,” where the company condemns such marketing tactics, stating that “these digital channels can’t be bought.”
Samsung has since admitted its ties to Fllu, though it denies that it was aware of Fllu’s bribing scheme, saying that such tactics are “clearly against Samsung Electronics corporate policy.”
Fllu’s COO, James Yoo, who originally denied any ties between Samsung and Fllu, has since altered his story.
Yoo is now saying that his initial response “may have been misleading,” and that Fllu’s offer to pay app developers to ask questions about Samsung’s Smart App Challenge was “misguided, unethical, and wrong.”
You can read The Verge’s full report here.
We have reached out to Samsung for further comment.