Ogilvy PR Malaysia and Huawei backtrack over Samsung statement

PR agency retracts release regarding Huawei's P9 phone launch that called the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge "disappointing".

The Huawei P9 (TechStage/Flickr)

Huawei Malaysia has quickly retreated from a statement issued as part of a campaign to launch the company’s new P9 smartphone, which took aim at Samsung’s Galaxy S7 Edge.

The statement, issued on Huawei’s behalf by its comms agency Ogilvy PR Malaysia, said that sales of the Galaxy S7 since its launch in March were "disappointing due to over-pricing and lacking innovation".

The release did not contain any further information or analysis to substantiate the claim. Samsung is the largest seller of Android smartphones in Malaysia.

Malaysian media were issued the statement, and local tech blog Malaysian Wireless published it in full, expressing surprise at its candid language. It caused an immediate stir on social media.

Having issued the release on Monday, which also contained information regarding the P9, its technology and promotional material, Ogilvy PR quickly retracted it on Tuesday.

Speaking to PRWeek Asia, the agency said the statement contained "certain information that was inappropriate" and apologised for its release.

Samsung Malaysia said in its own statement that its Galaxy S7 has "enjoyed overwhelming response" in Malaysia since its launch.

"As reported by IDC in its report "Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker" dated 27 April 2016, Samsung remained the leader in the worldwide smartphone market with the new Galaxy S7 flagship model which sold vigorously in the month of March," the statement reads.

"Leading the smartphone market globally is a great start for Samsung in 2016 and this will continue to be our motivation to remain as the market leader in mobile devices globally and in Malaysia."

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