Samsung’s Galaxy S20 was one of the worst kept secrets in phone history.
By the time of the official launch everyone interested in the company’s hardware knew the NZ$2200 top model Galaxy S20 has a main camera can capture 108 megapixels. It can also zoom 100 times.
The phone is also one of the first to work with 5G mobile networks.
There was a bizarre New Zealand twist to Samsung’s secrecy.
New Zealand daftness
Two days after the company advertised the phone during the US Super Bowl television broadcast and less than 24 hours before the official launch the company asked journalists to sign a non-disclosure agreement.
That’s right, a legal agreement asking journalists not to write about information that is already public.
Apart from anything else, many will work for publications able to get the overseas story through wire services.
It’s all about Samsung’s convenience
When used like this, non-disclose agreements have nothing to do with giving journalists early access to precious knowledge.
They are about maximising the marketing impact of a product launch.
Companies want media coverage to coincide with advertising and other marketing campaigns.
None of this should ever be a journalist’s concern. A reporter is not there to sell products. The duty is to readers and to keep them informed.
To ask journalists to sign a non-disclosure agreement when all the details about the phone are already public doesn’t make sense.
Nor does signing the agreement. Any journalist agreeing to that would be better off moving to a career in marketing or public relations.