LG Electronics Inc. on Tuesday denied a report claiming it attempted to bribe the tech news website TechCrunch in exchange for favorable reviews of its new smartphone model LG G2.
An LG official told The Korea Herald that John Giggs, a TechCrunch journalist who claimed LG attempted to pay him off for good reviews, must have misunderstood its advertisement request originally directed to the media’s advertising department.
“Our PR agency Burson Marsteller made an inquiry about sponsored packages (of LG) to TechCrunch’s advertising team, who passed on the request to the editorial team,” he said. The email in question, which was revealed by Giggs in his article, said, “It would be great if you can propose the types of sponsored packages as well as a rough pricing information on them.”
The LG official said that an inquiry of a sponsored package via advertising departments of tech media is a routine process.
Giggs had claimed early Monday that a member of Burson Marsteller recently asked him via email for a review of the LG G2 in exchange for an unspecified amount of money. The offer, Giggs said, included an in-depth review of certain features of the phone, or “a wild and crazy 1:1 comparison against many devices,” a proposal he said was unprecedented.
He said he had never seen “such an egregious offering of payola,” adding that because of the incident, the G2 was “now tainted and will probably sink.”
LG G2 is slated for release in New York on Wednesday.
By Yoon Min-sik