“We got a call from Samsung India saying ‘You can either be a part of this and wear the uniform, or you’ll have to get your own tickets back home and handle your hotel stay from the moment this call ends…
A few minutes later, we got a call from the Samsung India guy who said that our flights on the 6th have been cancelled, and that they’re bringing us back on the 1st instead. But this is only if, and only if, we agreed to wear at least the samsung branded shirt at the unpacked event, and not blog about any of this incident.
“None of this should leave Berlin. Or Reach India” – Clinton Jeff
It sounds like Samsung frayed some wires, considering that the bloggers were decked in full Samsung swag and expected to demo products all day — when they were really there to actually cover the conference itself. As TheNextWeb’s Brad McCarty puts it: “So take care, bloggers and those hoping to be. The next time that you’re offered a trip in exchange for coverage, you might find yourself being fitted for a uniform, signing NDAs and demoing products upon which you’re supposed to be reporting.”
(Side note: Accepting tickets/gifts for things like this would be a no-no for many journalists — a noted political columnist recently got publicly reprimanded for this very type of thing — but bloggers who scrape by may work under different rules.)