By Kim Yoo-chul
LG Electronics said Monday that it is suing its biggest rival Samsung Electronics after the latter put out advertisements that allegedly make false comparisons to promote refrigerators. LG claims that the ads have damaged its brand awareness.
On Monday, LG said it filed an injunction with Seoul Central District Court for a permanent injunction against Samsung ads over the capacity of premium fridges.
``LG Electronics is seeking an imminent end for Samsung ads because Samsung’s claim that its fridges are far better than ours in terms of capacity is totally false and groundless,’’ said KS Yun, head of LG's Ref. R&D Lab.
LG is seeking further legal measures against Samsung, said Yun without elaborating further. LG has officially asked Samsung to hold an open test comparing the capacity of fridges in a bid to give consumers the chance to decide for themselves on the matter.
In a separate statement, Samsung said its ads were aimed at helping consumers obtain better information before making purchases and company spokesman Lee Seung-joon said it doesn’t have plan to accept the LG request. ``The ads are part of our marketing campaign to help consumers better understand the capacity of fridges,’’ Lee said.
LG Electronics was upset after Samsung previously posted a short video clip titled as ``Inconvenient Truth of Refrigerator Capacity’’ on YouTube because the Samsung advertisement apparently accuses LG of exaggerating the capacity of its fridge.
LG claimed its recently-released 910-liter fridge is the world’s largest in terms of storage capacity after Samsung released its 900-liter fridge.
``This fight is really silly. Samsung is always obsessed with `World’s No. 1.’ The LG fridge is enough to make some scratches for Samsung pride,’’ said an unnamed Samsung official asking not to be identified.
In the ads, Samsung used various measuring tools. But the message is simple. ``Samsung fridge, which is 10-liters smaller than the LG fridge, is able to hold more water than LG’s,’’ said the Samsung official.
Samsung is leading LG in sales of TVs and smartphones, globally. But the Suwon, Gyeonggi Province-based Samsung is involved in a ``neck-and-neck’’ race in other home appliances such as fridges.
To help boost Samsung’s stake in home appliances, Samsung named Yoon Boo-keun to manage its appliances business. Yoon, who is considered as the right-handed man of top Samsung secretary and former Samsung Electronics CEO Choi Gee-sung, is well-known for his charismatic leadership.
Yoon has a fantastic track record of growing Samsung’s strategic businesses such as TVs. Under Yoon’s leadership, Samsung rose as the world’s top TV manufacturer after passing over its decades-long rival with Japan’s Sony.
Samsung previously became embroiled in a legal war with LG over three-dimensional (3D) televisions years ago because Samsung attempted to cool down LG’s 3D technology development. Although Samsung was pushing its battery-powered 3D TVs, initially, the gap between LG narrowed because LG had better-prices.