Cell-Phone Diplomacy

South Korean company Samsung looks to a North Korean spokesmodel for its new promotion

Only the most elite citizens of North Korea are allowed by the government to use cell phones. But that hasn't stopped Samsung, the South Korean consumer-electronics giant, from looking north for a celebrity to pitch its latest handsets. The company announced last week that it has hired dancer Cho Myung Ae as a model to help sell its Anycall mobile phones, which the Samsung ads claim can be used anywhere in the world--with the possible exception of North Korea, where citizens need government permission to even talk to foreigners. "It's symbolic," says Lee Jeong Eun, a spokeswoman for Cheil Communications, the...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!