20 Injured At ‘World War G’ Promotion For LG G2 Smartphone

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LG offers to pay the medical costs after 20 people are injured at a promotional event for its latest smartphone

LG’s momentum in the smartphone market has taken a bit of a knock after it emerged that a marketing event for its newly released G2 smartphone ended in more than 20 injuries, leading a TV station to call the event “World War G”.

The marketing misstep happened last Friday at an outdoor promotional event  in Seoul, South Korea, for LG’s G2 smartphone, a 5.2-inch smartphone which is the first to place all of its physical buttons on the rear of the device. in Seoul, South Korea.

lg phone giveaway umbrellaTwenty Injured

According to The Korea Times, 20 people were injured at the event which took place in a public park in the north of the city. LG had planned on releasing helium-filled balloons that carried 100 free coupons for the G2 smartphone.

Trouble started when many people arrived at the event, some armed with nets to catch the balloons. However some people also reportedly came armed with BB guns and spears in order to get a coupon for the smartphone, which retails for approximately KRW 950,000 in South Korea (approximately £550).

LG had heavily promoted the event on social networks, but was unprepared for the size of the crowd that arrived for the event. The idea was that LG would release the balloons into the air, but unfortunately it seems the resulting scrum is when the bulk of the injuries took place.

Although most of the injuries have been described as minor, seven people were hospitalised, and LG said it would pay for their medical treatment. Despite the best efforts of the spectators, it seems that most of the balloons floated away intact from the event.

Local TV station Channel IT called the event World War G in its video report, and intercut footage of the event with scenes from the recent zombie movie World War Z.

LG Statement


“LG Electronics deeply regrets that a number of Korean participants were injured during an outdoor promotional event in Seoul, Korea,” said the company in an emailed statement to TechweekEurope.

“We can confirm that seven participants were hospitalized and although none of the injuries were serious, LG takes full responsibility for the unfortunate situation and has offered to cover all related medical expenses.”

The company added that it would investigate the event, after some bloggers reported that there were too few security staff for the size of the crowd.

“LG is investigating the incident to ensure that such an occurrence can be avoided in the future,” it said.

The marketing blip comes as LG enjoys dramatic growth in the smartphone market, almost entirely due to the launch of the LG Nexus 4, which was launched earlier this year. The company will hope that the LG G2 is able to capitalise on this success and challenge other Android heavyweights like Samsung and HTC.

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LG 'world War G' G2 Phone giveaway

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World War G - LG G2 Giveaway
LG's balloons ready to release. Image from Channel IT video