Brand ambassadors using competitor’s phones in public is a common occurrence all over the world. However, this was an exceptional case for Ksenia Sobchak in Russia who is a recognized journalist, a celebrity, the host to a reality TV show, a politician and is also rumored to be the goddaughter of Russian President Vladimir Putin. She’s a Samsung brand ambassador and was caught using an iPhone X.
Ksenia was on live TV and tried to cover up her iPhone X with a piece of paper. Outside of television, she has also been spotted by others using an iPhone at social events. Her contractual obligation with Samsung means that she has to use a Samsung Phone out of the house. It seems that she hadn’t been upholding her part of the deal.
Samsung has fined Ms Sobchak 108 million Rubles (~$1.6 Million USD) for breach of contract. Her representatives have yet to comment on the issue and which has quickly become the epicenter of controversy.
Brand Ambassadors breaking their contracts while paying only lip service to their sponsors is a common occurrence which even brands themselves do. Razer was caught tweeting about their new Android smartphone, while using a Twitter on iPhone.
A history of brand ambassadors goofing up:
2012 – Beloved Talk Show Host Oprah used an iPad to release a series of tweets to endorse the Microsoft Surface RT Tablet.
2013 – Saw Tennis super-star David Ferrer posting a tweet from an iPhone when he was supposed to be talking about Samsung’s Galaxy S4.
2014- Maroon 5’s Adam Levine got in trouble when he was supposed to promote Samsung’s new Milk Music streaming service, but a week later was caught red-handed promoting a TV Appearance from an iPhone.
Companies falter, when in 2015, Blackberry’s PR Team promoted the Blackberry Classic using a tweet but from an iPhone.
The most recent occurrence of this slip-up by a celebrity would have to be from April 2018, when Gal Gadot, who at the time was a brand ambassador for Huawei to promoting their new Mate 10 Pro, sent out a tweet endorsing the phone … from an iPhone.
It seems that a common theme with all these celebrities is being unable to keep their hands off the iPhone. When such goof ups make the news, it just means more free publicity for Apple.