Saturday, February 04, 2012

Iran threatens Samsung over Israeli cable TV commercial

Remember this funny commercial for Israel's HOT cable network? (English subtitle version has been pulled from YouTube)

Predictably, Iran wasn't pleased:
Teheran is considering a ban on Samsung to protest an advertisement for an Israeli cable provider that makes light of the war of words and mysterious explosions being waged between Iran and Israel, an Iranian lawmaker told the country‘s state-run Press TV on Saturday.

In the ad produced by Israeli cable provider HOT, a bored Mossad agent meets in an Iranian wasteland with three characters from the Israeli comedy series Asfur who are dressed in drag. Casting furtive glances at passersby, the agent shows off a Samsung Galaxy tablet, and said he kills time on assignment watching “on-demand” episodes of Asfur on the tablet.

At the end of the clip, one of the three Asfur characters (“Newton”, the show’s loveable moron) accidentally activates an application that detonates a nuclear reactor on the horizon. Moments later, one of the Asfur buddies (“Moti”, the series protagonist), swats a fly that lands on his neck, and curses “ya Khamenei!” at the insect.

Khamenei is the Israeli slang for Maladera Insanabilis, a beetle drawn to the light of Tel Aviv apartment building stairwells during the summer months. The winged pest beetle acquired the name because the species is believed to have been accidentally imported in Israel in the late 1970s by a traveler returning from Iran.

The tablet is offered as an enticement for prospective customers to sign up for the on-demand package.

The South Korean electronics giant said "Samsung Electronics is aware of a recent news report in Iranian media regarding an advertisement aired by HOT cable network of Israel. This advertisement was produced by HOT cable network without Samsung's knowledge or participation."

"As a member of the global community, Samsung is committed to demonstrating respect for all people and cultures around the globe," the statement added.
Al Arabiya is characterizing Samsung's statement as a "condemnation" although it doesn't sound like one.