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Is “Joe Samsung” An Actor From Titanic?

Corporations use actors to sell their wares, but it looks like Samsung may have been particularly manipulative in its marketing. Did it use an actor posing as a customer in its big presentation of the yet-to-be-released Galaxy Tab, the slim tablet that aims to rival the iPad 2? The allegation concerns a Joseph “Korinski,” described by Samsung as a New York-based real estate CEO. But he looks identical to New York actor Joseph “Kolinski”, who appeared in the original Broadway production of Titanic.

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In Samsung’s presentation to the CTIA-The Wireless Association last week, Korinski with an “r” waxes lyrical at 25 minutes and 15 seconds into the company’s video about the Galaxy Tab. “For my business,” Korinski says, “I have to do a million things at once: sending and reviewing emails, creating and reviewing documents, reading the most up-to-date business news. I was surprised how productive I was able to be.”

Speaking of multi-tasking, does Korinski/Kolinski act and run a real estate business? The descriptions of “Joe Samsung” as a CEO and the subtle name-change risks turning Samsung’s big slideshow into a sideshow.

And what a difference a letter makes. Judging by this online biography, Joseph Kolinski with an “l” appeared in the original Broadway cast of Titanic and was the understudy to Star Wars’ Mark Hamill in the Broadway production of Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks. He also played the evil Prince Roland in the long-running daytime soap opera One Life to Live. Perhaps to avoid confusion in Samsung’s video, Korinski/Kolinski ends by saying, “Call me Joe.”

A spokesman for Samsung say the presentation reel was arranged by executives at Samsung’s headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, and tells Pay Dirt it has “no official statement” on whether the company used actors in its presentation posing as excited consumers. Although Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 8.9 and 10.1 aren’t available until early summer, the spokesman says that those featured in the presentation used “pre-production units” with software that’s close to the final version.

There is no evidence that Samsung broke Federal Trade Commission’s 2009 guidelines on endorsements and testimonials, which state: “Advertisements that feature a consumer and convey his or her experience with a product or service as typical when that is not the case will be required to clearly disclose the results that consumers can generally expect.” But it’s not a great start for Samsung in this, the latest phase of the high-profile tablet wars.

As we await Samsung’s official response, what do you think of the “Joe Samsung” affair?

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    • Dont have any other articles to write?

      Hurting for clicks? Author?

    • who care ilove the products

    • Why is it controversial that a company used actors in their commercial? You know most “doctors” on prescription drug commercials aren’t really MD’s and Justin Long isn’t actually a Mac. I thought the worst part of the Samsung commercial was that they were bad actors, not that they were actors.

About Pay Dirt

  • Pay Dirt examines the millions of consumer decisions Americans make every day: What to buy, how much to pay, whether to rave or complain. Lead written by Quentin Fottrell, the blog examines these interactions, providing readers with news, insight and tips on shopping, spending, customer service, and companies that do right – and wrong – by their customers. Send items, questions and comments to quentin.fottrell@dowjones.com or tweet @SMPayDirt.

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