Samsung faces a sales ban in Iran, not because of a patent dispute, but because an advert for the company’s Galaxy Tab has been considered insulting by authorities.
The advert (below, begins at 0:49) was shown on an Israeli cable TV network and features four male comedians from a sitcom dressed as women in the vicinity of an Iranian nuclear facility. They bump into a Mossad agent who is watching a video on a Galaxy Tab device but when one of the comedians grabs it he accidentally triggers an explosion.
Samsung has denied that the advert was of its own creation, saying that it was “produced by HOT cable network without Samsung’s knowledge or participation”, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Nevertheless, Iranian officials are not happy, with a government spokesman telling the state media agency that the advert was insulting as it portrayed Iran as a “primitive society” and that the government could pose some kind of ban on the sale of Samsung products
As the WSJ suggests, there could be political motives at play here – Samsung is a South Korean company and the country is under pressure to join multinational efforts to starve Iran of oil revenue.
Samsung, though not directly responsible for this advert, has also targeted rival tablet and smartphone maker Apple in its advertising this week, using its slot at the Super Bowl to poke fun at Cupertino.