Another interesting revelation from the ongoing Apple vs Samsung patent trial: concerned about launching attack ads on a company that was a customer as well as a competitor, Samsung sought to persuade Google to “launch a campaign against Apple.”
The then CEO of Samsung Telecommunications America, Dale Sohn, emailed his chief marketing officer to ask:
As you have shared previously, we are unable to battle [Apple] directly in our marketing. If it continues to be Samsung’s position to avoid attacking Apple given its status as as a large customer, can we go to Google to ask them to launch a campaign against Apple based on the many better Android products available in the market for Q4?
“As you know, there will be a tsunami when iPhone 5 is coming. This will be happening sometime in September or October,” Sohn warned in a message dated June 5, 2012. “According to CEO’s direction, we have to set up a counter plan to neutralize this tsunami,” he added, referring to JK Shin, the head of Samsung’s mobile business.
Samsung clearly overcame its concerns about directly attacking Apple, running the Next Big Thing ads which directly mocked Apple customers. Documents earlier made public in the trial revealed that Apple’s senior VP of marketing Phil Schiller was so concerned about these ads that he considered changing ad agency to counter them.